Coulter calls the tune as Donegal finally get the better of Derry
Not so long ago the possibility of Donegal getting the better of Derry in senior inter-county hurling would have been deemed nothing more than fanciful.
But how times have changed. Yesterday in a Division 2B Allianz League contest that was brimful of quality scores and riveting action, Donegal proved they fully deserve their current status by galloping to an impressive 4-17 to 2-9 victory.
Derry boss Collie McGurk, left with the unenviable task of attempting to re-build his side following a litany of defections, has worked hard to plug the many gaps that were left but this will clearly take more time.
Yesterday Donegal's sharpness up front, their unerring accuracy and their new-found self-belief surfaced in abundance as the Oak Leaf side were humbled.
Former Armagh player Declan Coulter, who has made a big impact since linking up with Donegal, scored two of their goals which he embellished with a handful of points.
His native county, though, did not fare too well yesterday. Mayo proved superior to the orchard representatives at the Athletic Grounds where they won by 3-15 to 2-13 in a lively encounter.
Eoin McGuinness looked to have given Armagh the chance of picking up their first win in Division 2B when he landed two goals, but Mayo's shooting power was such that they were able to close out the game efficiently.
But Down made no mistake against Wicklow at Ballycran where they came out on top by 1-24 to 0-16.
Wicklow overcame a weakened Armagh side last weekend and had hoped to make it back to back wins over Ulster opponents but with Paul Sheehan and Danny Toner in fine form Down maintained the pressure for the most part.
Down opted to take their points rather than go for goals and this proved a prudent measure as at the end of the day they enjoyed an 11-point winning margin.
In Division 3A Tyrone surprisingly lost to Louth at Darver (4-12 to 0-20) while Monaghan and Roscommon finished all-square in an hard-fought, absorbing battle at Inniskeen (0-16 to 1-13).