Donegal got their All-Ireland Masters Championship campaign off to winning start against a Leitrim/Longford combination on Wednesday night in Ballinamore.
Donegal, last year’s winners of the All-Ireland Shield, were much the better side throughout. They led by three points at half-time, 0-6 to 0-3, time thanks to points from Paul McGonigle, Benny Cassidy, Michael ‘Sticky’ Ward, Brian McLaughlin and Johnny McGinty.
The men from the north west with manager Val Murray using the rolling substitution system well, were the dominant side in the second period.
Aodh Ruadh clubman Murray has taken over the manager’s job from John McNulty, who guided Donegal to the Shield title last season.
Brian McLaughlin, one of four former Donegal seniors in the squad (Eamon Doherty, Ardara, Paul McGonigle, Buncrana and Seamus McGinty, Sean MacCumhaills are the other three) scored the goal in the second half and also clipped over a fine point as Donegal outscored Leitrim/Longford 1-9 to 0-6.
Charlie Bonner, Dermot McColgan, Cassidy, Ward, Seamus McGinty, Barron and Paul McGlynn all raised white flags in the second period as Donegal ran out comfortable winners.
Their next game is on Wednesday week, at home to Tyrone. Tyrone also got their campaign off to a winning start. They defeated Antrim, in their opening game.
Donegal: Martin Gillespie; Charlie Doherty, John Anthony McMullan, Ross Brady; Maurice McBride, Eamon Doherty, Michael McShane; David McShane, Charlie Gallagher; Paul Gallagher, Michael ‘Sticky’ Ward (0-1), Charlie Bonner (0-2); Benny Cassidy (0-4) , Paul McGonigle (0-1), Seamus Furey. Subs (rolling); Stephen McGonIgle, Brian McLaughlin (1-2), Stephen Ross, Paul McGlynn (0-1), Johnny McGinty (0-1), Liam Breen, Packie McGrath, Charlie McGinty, Kieran Barron(0-1), Adrian McGettigan, Seamus McGinty (0-1), Dermot McColgan (0-1), Michael McLaughlin.