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Gallagher sees Donegal hold on to defeat Cork

Donegal 0-12 - Cork 1-8

It was closer than it ought to have been - but 14-man Donegal held on to put Cork to the sword in Ballyshannon.

Donegal played the final 19 minutes without captain Michael Murphy, who was sent off when he was booked for the second time.

At that stage, two wondrous long-range frees by Murphy had helped Donegal into a five-point lead, 0-10 to 0-5.

With the door ajar, Cork looked like they might burst in when Tomas Clancy palmed home a goal seven minutes after Murphy was shown red.

Cork were back to within a point, but Donegal held on.

"We're delighted with the way we ground it out," said Donegal boss Rory Gallagher. "These narrow wins are good for character. We were five points ahead and were playing really well. They capitalised on it, scored a great goal and we were clinging on."

Man of the Match Martin O'Reilly hit three first-half points for the winners, who kicked on when they landed five in a row at the start of the second-half ensuring they had enough breathing space. But only just.

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