Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Armagh are shot down by Donegal

Donegal 1-14 Armagh 2-9

Donegal's Eamon McGee is stopped in his tracks by Armagh's Martin O'Rourke
Donegal's Eamon McGee is stopped in his tracks by Armagh's Martin O'Rourke

Donegal have qualified for the final of the McKenna Cup after with a spirited display against Armagh in Healy Park last night.



Donegal were on top in the first half but had just three points to spare at the break, 0-10 to 0-7, thanks mainly to indiscipline which saw two easy points for Armagh for frees moved on.

Donegal were 0-4 to 0-1 up after eight minutes through Stephen Griffin, who got two, Brendan Boyle and David Walsh.

Joe Feeney had the opening Armagh point and the same player had the third while Peadar Toal pointed a free.

Kevin McMenamin and Feeney traded points before Donegal took a four-point lead with three points in as many minutes from David Walsh, with a couple of scores, and Charlie Byrne with 24 minutes gone.

In the final ten minutes Donegal had two further points from Stephen Griffin, while Peadar Toal with two frees and another from Ronan Clarke kept the Armagh men in touch.

Donegal's total in the opening half all came from play apart from the final pointed free from Griffin.

But both sides found scores much harder to come by in the second half and by the 40th minute Donegal were four clear with Walsh and McMenamin to a Ronan Clarke free.

Armagh, though, got themselves right back in the game when Kevin O'Rourke chipped Paul Durcan for a goal on 50 minutes.

David Walsh then had a great goal chance for Donegal a couple of minutes later but Brendan Boyle restored the two-point advantage with a well-taken score of his own.

There were then two goals in four minutes. David Walsh availed of a slip in the Armagh defence to put Donegal four clear but then

Ronan Clarke won a penalty and even though his kick was saved, Paddy McKeever followed up to score.

Michael Doherty then landed a '45' and Donegal held on to just about deserve the win.

Donegal have not had McKenna Cup success since 1991 when the Armagh-born Charlie Mulgrew was captain.

Scorers: Donegal - David Walsh 1-4; Stephen Griffin 0-4,1f; Brendan Boyle 0-2; Kevin McMenamin 0-2; Charlie Byrne, Michael Doherty 45 0-1each.

Armagh; Kevin O'Rourke 1-1; Joe Feeney 0-3; Paddy McKeever 1-0; Peadar Toal 0-3,3f; Ronan Clarke 0-2,2f.

Donegal: P Durcan; J Gallagher, R Sweeney, P McDaid; C Byrne, BMonaghan, E McGee; N Gallagher, B Boyle; C Bonner, C Dunne, R Kavanagh; K McMenamin, S Byrne, D Walsh. Subs. M Doherty for C Bonner; L Thompson for Walsh

Armagh: P McEvoy; G Smyth, V Martin, B Shannon; C Rafferty, T McClelland, B McDonald; J Lavery, S O'Neill; M O'Rourke, B Mallon, P Toal; J Feeney, R Clarke, K O'Rourke. Subs.M Mackin for Martin; N O'Rourke for Smyth; P McKeever for J Feeney; B Toner for B McDonald; C Clarke for M O'Rourke (yellow)

Referee: A McAlynn (Derry)

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