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Donegal victory not enough for last four spot

By Chris McNulty

Donegal 3-17 QUB 3-05: Donegal eased to a comfortable win over Queen's in Ballybofey last night – but Ryan Rafferty's lethal hat-trick deprived Jim McGuinness's team of a place in the McKenna Cup semi-finals on points difference.

A pair of Rafferty goals in the first half were all Queen's had to show from their endeavours and he added a third early in the second period to ensure some respectability for them on the scoreline.

Donegal were ahead 1-7 to 2-0 at the break and despite Rafferty keeping the students in check, the home side end their McKenna Cup campaign in style.

Colm McFadden and sub Rory Kavanagh bagged second half goals to give Donegal a 12-point win.

Donegal opened brightly with Colm McFadden and Murphy on song.

Queen's had to wait until the 18th minute for their first score, but it was worth the wait. Donegal man Martin McElhinney threaded through for Ryan Rafferty to slot past Paul Durcan.

McFadden, Murphy and teenager Darach O'Connor pushed Donegal four in front.

Rafferty slotted home a second Queen's goal in the final minute of the half, but Donegal hit an instant response with Murphy drilling a scorching effort to the net from 20 metres.

Rafferty completed his hat-trick when he palmed home nine minutes into part two, but McFadden hammered home in the 53rd minute. The game was the return of Christy Toye for the first time since the 2012 All-Ireland final.

Toye notched a point and fellow sub Kavanagh tapped home in the closing moments.

DONEGAL: P Durcan; E McGee, N McGee, E Doherty; F McGlynn, L McLoone (0-1), K Lacey; N Gallagher (0-1), G McFadden; A McFadden, L Thompson, O MacNiallais; C McFadden (1-4, 2f), M Murphy (1-6, 5f), D O'Connor (0-1).

Subs: C Toye (0-1) for Thompson (h/t), R Kavanagh (1-0) for G.McFadden (h/t), David Walsh for Lacey (h/t), S McLaughlin (0-1) for O'Connor (46), M Smyth for Gallagher (67), T McKinley for A.McFadden (67)

QUB: M Cunningham; C McNulty, C Cullen, D O'Hanlon; R Mallon (0-2), G Collins, P Burns; A Finden, H Conlon (0-1); C Maginn (0-1), A Brogan, M McElhinney; R Murray (0-1), R Grugan, R Rafferty (3-0).

Subs: K Moynagh for McNulty (17), M McCann for Collins (black card, 46), J Dowling for McElhinney (49), M Monan for Murray (black card, 57), R McGarry for Dowling (black card, 66)

Referee: B Rice (Down).

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