Donegal U-21 hurlers pictured before their game with Sligo
Sligo U-21 hurlers proved much too strong for Donegal in the All-Ireland B quarter-final at Fr. Tierney Park, Ballyshannon.
Donegal looked to be on their way when they led by six points at the end of the first quarter, but Sligo took complete control from there to the end and but for some poor shooting in the second quarter, the final margin would have been even greater.
Sligo got off to a whirlwind start with Kevin Banks winning the throw-in and driving forward to point inside seven seconds.
Sam Roe Doherty equalised for Donegal but Kieran Pryor put Sligo ahead again from a '65'.
However, that would be Sligo's last score for ten minutes as Donegal had a dominant spell and hit 1-4 without replay to lead 1-5 to 0-2.
Paul Tourish, Kieran Brady and Sam Doherty '65' had the points. Josh Connolly forced Luke Comerford into a great save in the Sligo goal and then finished the goal on 10 minutes after a long Sam Doherty shot was batted out.
Donegal added another point from Caolan McDermott and looked in control on 14 minutes. However, they would just add one more point, courtesy of Cathal Doherty, in the remainder of the half as Sligo took control.
By the break, the visitors were on terms thanks to points from Tony O'Kelly Lynch (3), Kieran Pryor (2), Rory McHugh and Andrew Kilcullen. They also recorded nine first half wides and really should have been ahead.
Sligo also created a great goal chance in the first half when Rory McHugh went on a great run and showed tremendous skill but his final shot across the goal didn't have anyone available to tap into the empty net.
Half-time: Donegal 1-6, Sligo 0-9.
That was as good as it got for Donegal as they could only manage two points in the second half and Sligo got their shooting going.
They had four points on the board inside four minutes through Kevin Banks (this time on 27 seconds), Rory McHugh, Kieran Pryor and Stephen Mulligan.
Kieran Brady pulled a point back for Donegal, but the Sligo forwards kept hitting the target through Andrew Kilcullen (2), Stephen Mulligan, Kevin Banks and O'Kelly Lynch to lead 0-18 to 1-7 after 47 minutes.
They added a goal on 53 minutes through their most skilful player Rory McHugh after a mistake by the Donegal 'keeper while Donegal couldn't muster any real challenge. Conor O'Grady, from a free, had the final point for Donegal on the 60th minute.
Scorers - Donegal: Josh Connolly 1-0; Sam Doherty 0-2,f,'65'; Kieran Brady 0-2; Ciaran Bradley, Caolan McDeremott, Cathal Doherty, Conor O'Grady (f) 0-1 each.
Sligo: Rory McHugh 1-2; Tony O'Kelly Lynch 0-4,2f; Kieran Pryor 0-4,f,'65'; Andrew Kilcullen 0-3,3f; Kevin Banks 0-3; Stephen Mulligan 0-2.
DONEGAL: Tom Clare, James Monagle, Fiachra McLaughlin, Ryan Hilferty; Sam “Roe” Doherty, Justin McBride, Aaron McCauley; Paul Tourish, Ciaran Bradley; Oisin Rooney, Caolan McDermott, Cathal Doherty; Kieran Brady, Josh Connolly, Conor O’Grady. Subs., Jordan Barr for McAuley 38; Brendan Gillespie for Hilferty; James Doherty for Monagle, Ciaran Kelly for Bradley, all 55; Conor McGettigan for C Doherty 59.
SLIGO: Luke Comerford, Sean Hallinan, Joe Moran, Gavin Connolly; James Weir, Niall Feehily, Niall Campbell; Kevin Banks, Mikey Gordon; Andrew Kilcullen, Kieran Prior, Donal Fidgeon; Rory McHugh, Tony O’Kelly Lynch, Stephen Mulligan. Subs., Eanna Moylan for Fidgeon 42; Sean McVeigh for Hallinan 48; Joe Molloy for Campbell 52; Shane Brennan for Mulligan, David Kilrehill for O'Kelly Lynch, both 57.
REFEREE: Aiden Ferguson (Fermanagh)