Belfast Telegraph

Friday 27 February 2015

Donegal fire statement of intent to main rivals

David Conway of Laois, wrestles with Frank McGlynn
David Conway of Laois, wrestles with Frank McGlynn

Laois 1-09 Donegal 2-19: Christy Toye returned to inspire Donegal to a facile win over Laois as Jim McGuinness' side made an impressive statement in this Division 2 opener.

Toye's last start for Donegal was in March 2012 and, bar a McKenna Cup cameo, this was his first slice of action since the All-Ireland final later that year.

Yesterday, Toye was immense, having played a part in all of Donegal's 1-6 tally in the first half and he left in the 53rd minute to a standing ovation from the away supporters.

Odhrán MacNiallais palmed home their opening goal in the 12th minute following an unselfish off-load by Anthony Thompson.

Frank McGlynn and Colm McFadden had chances of a second but were denied and Donegal led 1-6 to 0-5 at the break.

70 seconds into the second half, McFadden scored a brilliant goal, smashing home in style from Leo McLoone's pass.

Donegal held Laois scoreless for a 38-minute spell and the visitors hit 1-10 during a time when the hosts had Denis Booth red carded for a high challenge on Mark McHugh.

Donegal ended with 10 different scorers, including debutant Hugh McFadden, who hit a late brace.

"We are happy with the two points and to have knocked up a good score," said Donegal boss Jim McGuinness.

"Some of our older players are coming back and we want to get them up to Championship level during this league campaign."

LAOIS: G Brody; D Booth, M Timmons, P O'Leary (0-1); D Strong, P McMahon, A Ryan; K Meaney, J O'Loughlin (1-1); J Finn, D Kingston (0-1, 1f), B Sheehan; R Munnelly (0-4, 2f), E O'Carroll (0-1), D Conway (0-1). Subs: P Cahillane for Finn (h-t), P Begley for Ryan (h-t), R Kehoe for Carroll (47), S Attride for Sheehan (57), E Lowry for Attride (70).

DONEGAL: P Durcan; R McHugh, N McGee, K Lacey; F McGlynn, L McLoone, A Thompson (0-1); R, M McElhinney (0-2); M McHugh (0-1), C Toye (0-1), O MacNiallais (1-1); C McFadden (1-3, 2f), M Murphy (0-6, 2f, 2 '45), D Molloy (0-1). Subs: Declan Walsh for Lacey (42), H McFadden (0-2) for Kavanagh (47), P McBrearty (0-1) for Molloy (47), M O'Reilly for Toye (53), E Doherty for McGlynn (64), S McLaughlin for MacNiallais (67).

Referee: C Lane (Cork).

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