McHugh's last gasp winner gives Donegal the points

Dramatic victory for Rory Gallagher's side

Peter Campbell


Peter Campbell


McHugh's last gasp winner gives Donegal the points

Roscommon's Enda Smith with Jason McGee of Donegal Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

In a fantastic game, Donegal just about deserved their victory in a frantic finish in Hyde Park.

Donegal 0-16
Roascommon 2-9

Donegal went ahead by three points in the second half but a fantastic goal by Conor Devaney with eight minutes left made it a great finish, but Donegal held their nerve with Eoin McHugh getting the winner.
Donegal were a goal down at the break after playing against the strong wind in the opening half. And they should really have been on terms because the goal they conceded was a gift.
Indeed, the sides were level three occasions before a short kick-out by Mark Anthony McGinley to Mark McHugh was intercepted and Enda Smith set up Ciaran Murtagh for a simple finish.
Donegal had started very well with Michael Murphy, playing at midfield, winning the throw-in and a free after nine seconds and he pointed it. Ciaran Thompson, looking really sharp, added a second on three minutes.
And it could have been a great opening few minutes as Eoin McHugh cut through but he was unable to offload and lost possession.
Roscommon were testing the Donegal full-back line and 'keeper with high ball and Fintan Cregg got his hand to one of those to send it over the bar.
Donegal were two ahead again on 12 minutes as Patrick McBrearty won and pointed a free, but the Rossies hit back with two quick points from Ciaran Murtagh (free) and another fisted effort from a high centre by Enda Smith.
Donie Smith was almost in for a Roscommon goal before Ciaran Thompson hit another great point. But again Roscommon levelled with Enda Smith easily cutting past Caolan Ward. Then disaster from the kick-out as Ciaran Murtagh availed of a gift goal.
To be fair to Donegal they responded and Michael Carroll broke through but his effort went just over.
Before half-time big midfielder Kevin Higgins launched two great Roscommon points while Eoin McHugh and Michael Murphy (free) kept Donegal in touch.
While Ciaran Murtagh had the first point of the second half for the Rossies, Donegal hit three in succession from Ciaran Thompson, Eoghan Ban and Patrick McBrearty and they should have had a goal on 44 minutes as Jamie Brennan was setup but his effort from close range was deflected for a '45'.
Brennan made amends when he lofted a point with his left to level matters but Ciaran Murtagh replied at the other end, even though it loooked wide.
Then Donegal had another good spell with Marty O'Reilly and Eoin McHugh finding the range to hit the front on 54 minutes,0-13 to 1-9.
O'Reilly then struck for two more in-a-row to put Donegal in a commanding position with eight minutes left.
But the fat was back in the fire as Conor Devaney worked a one-two from a '45' to fire to the corner of the Donegal net and the equaliser on 64 minutes.
In a frantic finish Michael Carroll missed a great chance while Ronan Stack should have sealed it for Roscommon but went for goal when he should have fisted over. From the break out Eoin McHugh put Donegal back in front and they held on for victory.

Scorers - Donegal: Ciaran Thompson, Marty O'Reilly, Eoin McHugh 0-3 each; Michael Murphy 0-2,2f; Patrick McBrearty 0-2,1f; Michael Carroll, Eoghan Ban Gallagher, Jamie Brennan 0-1 each.
Roscommon: Ciaran Murtagh 1-3,2f; Conor Devaney 1-0: Kevin Higgins 0-2; Enda Smith 0-2; Finta Cregg 0-1.

ROSCOMMON: Colm Lavin; Sean McDermott, Thomas Featherston, Niall McInerney; Ronan Stack, Sean Mullooly, John McManus; Kevin Higgins, Tadhg O'Rourke; Shane Killoran, Ciaran Murtagh, Enda Smith; Donie Smith, Fintan Cregg, Conor Devaney. Subs., Tom Corcoran for Higgins 48; Niall Kilroy for F Cregg 49; Cian Connolly for D Smith 58

DONEGAL: Mark Anthony McGinley; Caolan Ward, Neil McGee, Paddy McGrath; Ryan McHugh, Eoghan Bán Gallagher, Paul Brennan; Jason McGee, Michael Carroll; Ciaran Thompson, Martin O'Reilly, Eoin McHugh; Patrick McBrearty, Michael Murphy, Jamie Brennan. Subs., Mark McHugh for Brennan 17; Frank McGlynn for M McHugh ht; Darach O'Connor for McBrearty 49; Conor Gibbons for Brennan 62; Eamonn Doherty for N McGee 69.

REFEREE: Derek O'Mahoney (Tipperary)