By Mike Fitzpatrick
Donegal (Ireland) 3-22, New York 2-9
New York were simply outclassed, outplayed and outshone by a visiting Donegal side in this senior football inter-county challenge match.
Frank Brady’s depleted side were never really in the game, and once trailed by a massive 18 points. Missing Sean Teague, Neville Dunne, Stephen Cassidy, Mickey Slowey, Brian McCabe, Owen Cummins, Kevin Lilly and a host of other vital footballers from last year’s side, New York were forced to start the game with fewer experienced players.
New York could make all the usual excuses, like the fact that Donegal are far more used to playing together, and that the New York lads aren’t used to the bad weather on the day, but the end result was that the lads from the Big Apple were well and truly hammered.
Donegal opened the game with seven unanswered scores to give them an early nine-point lead.
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John Meehan managed to claw one back for New York, but the visitors stepped up a gear and hit another couple of scores to leave the home side trailing in their distant wake.
Bingo Driscoll came on for New York, and linking well with the dependable Gary Dowd, managed to grab a score after Meehan and Kieran Keaveny had added to New York’s tally.
A rare attack at the end of the first half from New York saw Keaveny’s goalbound shot easily saved by Tony Blake in the Ulster side’s goal, and going into the break, we witnessed more Donegal scores from Brendan Devaney, the excellent Tony Roper, and Michael Hegarty.
The half time score was an embarrassing 3-11 to 0-4 in favor of Donegal.
New York entered the second half with something akin to a second wind, and attacked their opponent’s goal. Paddy O’Connor had a shot blocked by the efficient Donegal backline of Paddy Campbell and Ray Sweeney.
O’Connor continued to tussle, and was granted a penalty which Donal Breslin fired wide.
New York continued their flurry of attacking football, Meehan fired just wide, Kieran Traynor hit an effort straight at the goalie, and Bingo hit two points to at least limit the damage.
Donegal’s James Gallagher scored the best point of the afternoon with a great effort from what seemed like 50 yards, and some seemingly telepathic passing between the Donegal substitutes Martin Caulfield and Jim McCafferty resulted in yet more efforts over the bar. Bingo banged in a goal, followed by an unlucky effort from Gary Dowd that sailed wide. Donal Breslin scored a good point which was unlucky not to have scraped under the bar, and a late late goal from John Meehan gave the tie at least a little respectability.
New York have it all to do if they are to compete in the championship in Ireland.
Donegal: Tony Blake, Paddy Campbell, Ray Sweeney (0-1), Damian Diver, Noel McGinlay, Shane Carr, Eamonn Redden, Brian McLoughlin, Ollie Reed, Michael Hegarty (0-5), Adrian Sweeney (0-3), Brian Roper (1-5), Brendan Devaney (1-1), Tony Boyle (1-2), James Gallagher (0-1) Subs: Don Monaghan (0-1) Jim McCafferty (0-1), Martin Caulfield (0-2).
New York: Eunan Doherty, Piaras O’Reilly, Paul Gallivan, John Walsh, Donal Breslin (0-1), Ciaran Ryan (0-1), Aidan Traynor, John Meehan (1-2), Kieran Traynor, Paul O’Connor, Enda Henry, Gary Dowd, Thomas Blake, Kieran Keaveney (0-1), Paddy O’Connor. Subs: Bingo Driscoll (1-3), Michael Murphy (0-1), Philip Sloane, Sean Nolan.