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Donegal see off Tribesmen to set up Mayo clash

Donegal 3-12 Galway0-11

By John Campbell

Published 03/08/2015

In the mix: Donegal's Ryan McHugh gains possession from Galway's Damien Comer at Croke Park
In the mix: Donegal's Ryan McHugh gains possession from Galway's Damien Comer at Croke Park

They haven't gone away you know.

After watching his Donegal side defeat Galway by 10 points on Saturday, Rory Gallagher was immediately down to the business of preparing his blueprints for an All-Ireland quarter-final against Mayo this weekend.

Donegal, scorned by their Ulster final reversal against Monaghan, came on strong in the second half to blow battling Galway away.

Stories of Michael Murphy's ill health were greatly exaggerated as he showed with a colossal display that included a majestic point in the 48th minute that will surely feature on the highlights reel of the summer.

A delicate Murphy flick on teed up the second Donegal goal for Ryan McHugh, the score that sucked whatever life was left out of Galway and pushed the north west side towards victory.

The captain began at centre field, but did his best work inside, where he spent more time than he had done over the last three months.

"It's not easy in Ulster when there are five or six men in around the 'D'," Gallagher pointed out.

"That's just the way Ulster teams play.

"It was part of the plan all along to play him out the field in Ulster," he explained.

"We felt that he'd get more touches. He's played inside for a period and got only minimal touches."

Murpy was imperious and Colm McFadden was inspirational.

The veteran attacker rolled back the years for a vintage display.

He had a hand in all three Donegal goals.

McFadden laid the first on a plate for Patrick McBrearty in the sixth minute to give Donegal a foothold.

But they went to sleep for a period as Galway hit back and when Paul Conroy boomed over late in the half the sides were deadlocked.

Three early wides in the second half furrowed the brows of the Donegal faithful and Adrian Varley put Galway ahead for only the second time.

Murphy ended a Donegal lean spell with a free and Man of the Match Odhrán MacNiallais curled over in style.

Ten minutes from the end, Donegal netted their second goal as McHugh stylishly finished with aplomb.

It was a night when Donegal's bench worked a treat for Gallagher with Martin McElhinney powerful after his introduction and Leo McLoone added a point with the final say going to Christy Toye, who netted in stoppage time after taking receipt of a classy McFadden pass.

Donegal are looking strong ahead of their Mayo showdown.

DONEGAL: P Durcan; P McGrath, E McGee, N McGee; M McHugh, E Doherty, F McGlynn; N Gallagher, M Murphy (0-3, 2f); R McHugh (1-0), H McFadden, O Mac Niallais (0-3); M O'Reilly, P McBrearty (1-1), C McFadden (0-4, 1f). Subs: A Thompson for E McGee (h-t), M McElhinney for O'Reilly (h-t), Declan Walsh for McGrath (black card, 51), L McLoone (0-1) for McBrearty (54), C Toye (1-0) for H.McFadden (68), David Walsh for C.McFadden (70).

GALWAY: B O'Donoghue; J Duane, F Hanley, C Sweeney; L Silke, G O'Donnell, G Bradshaw; F Ó Curraoin, T Flynn (0-1); G Sice (0-4, 4f), P Conroy (0-1), M Lundy; A Varley (0-2), D Comer (0-1, 1f), D Cummins (0-1). Subs: S Walsh (0-1) for Varley (57), P Sweeney for Conroy (57), P Gríofa for Cummins (63), S Denvir for Lundy (67), M Martin for Flynn (69), E Tierney for Sice (69).

Referee: E Kinsella (Laois).

Belfast Telegraph

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