By Charlie Collins
Donegal 2-25 v 0-22 Down
A really spectacular first-half efficiency sowed the seeds of victory for Donegal to retain the Conor McGurk Cup on the Dub in Belfast.
Mickey McCann’s squad scored 2-15 in an excellent opening half show, the targets coming from Man of the Match Gerry Gilmore and Liam McKinney. Down lowered that large half-time lead of 11 again to 4 with fifteen minutes remaining however Donegal rallied once more to win by 9 factors.
Donegal began effectively with three fast factors from Gerry Gilmore, Josh Cronolly McGee and Brian McIntyre. Cian Milligan opened Down’s account with a degree however Gerry Gilmore replied with a effectively taken aim, pushed low to the nook of the web, 1-03 to 0-01.
Down hit again with three factors from Christie, Doyle and Hughes to depart simply two factors in it after ten minutes, 1-03 to 0-04. Donegal dominated from that time to guide by eleven factors at half-time with some glorious play and spectacular scores.
Gilmore added a degree after which Liam McKinney added their second aim from shut vary, 2-04 to 0-04 factors. Peter Kelly and Gerry Gilmore added Donegal factors, Oisín McManus and Ben Christie replied for Down. Conor Gartland, one other from Gilmore and his second from Brian McIntyre put Donegal 9 in entrance, 2-09 to 0-06 and in management.
Oisín McManus transformed a free however Donegal added three fast factors, Stephen Gillespie, Conor Gartland and each groups added three factors earlier than half-time Conor Gartlahd, Gilmore and goalkeeper Luke White for Donegal, Tom McGratten, Oisín McManus and Donal Hughes for Down to depart it 2-15 to 0-10 for Donegal at half-time.
Down obtained off to a terrific begin to the second-half with six of the primary eight factors to Gerry Gilmore’s two factors reply for Donegal to cut back the result in seven factors, 2-17 to 0-16 factors. Three extra in a row from Down left simply 4 in it and it appeared like recreation very a lot on it appeared at 2-17 to 0-19.
However Donegal steadied the ship with a robust final fifteen minutes led by Man of the Match Gerry Gilmore and Liam McKinney with some glorious scores to expire 9 factors winners on a scoreline of 2-25 to 0-22 to retain the Conor McGurk Cup and set themselves up for the forthcoming league marketing campaign after which one other Nicky Rackard Cup problem.
Donegal: Luke White, Ciaran Curran, Ciaran Bradley, Gavin Browne, Jack O Loughlin, Stephen Gillespie, Conor O Grady, Brian McIntyre, Ryan Hilferty, Sean McVeigh, Conor Gartland, Liam McKinney, Peter Kelly, Gerry Gilmore, Josh Cronolly-McGee. Subs used: Bernard Lafferty, Sean Ward, Oisín Marley, Oisín Kelly.
Down: Pearse Smyth, Tom Murray, Deaglan Mallon, Jordan Murphy, Aodhan Furlong, Marc Fisher, Mark McAreavey, Donal Hughes, Ciaran Milligan, James Duggan, Oisin McManus, Michael Dorrian, Tom McGrattan, Ryan Milligan, Ben Christie. Subs: Niall McFarland, Ciaran Conway, Donal Magee.
Referee: Barry Winters ( Tyrone ).
Donegal defeat Right down to retain Conor McGurk Cup was final modified: January 14th, 2024 by