By John Markey
DONEGAL 0-10, WESTMEATH 0-5 Sunday’s big senior football encounter at Gaelic Park in the Bronx brought together two of the major contenders for honors this season. In a tough struggle, it was Donegal who emerged victorious, showing their current well being and fulfilling their customary early-season promise.
In a very defensive oriented game, Donegal’s ability to find the target proved to be the difference. Both sides battled hard throughout to gain the ascendancy, but with Westmeath wasteful in the final third of the field, it was always going to be hard for them.
With Leslie McGettigan returning from suspension, along with manager Donal Gallagher, Donegal had that extra edge, which they duly availed of. It took 10 minutes for the deadlock to be breached, with Tadgh O’Donavan putting Donegal in front. A series of converted frees – two from Ed Cleary and one from Donal Breslin – had them firmly in the ascendancy.
Westmeath continued to press and had Donegal under a lot of pressure, but a sole Brian McCabe point was all they had for their first-half toils.
The second half continued in the same vein, with Westmeath pressuring without obtaining rewards. With Donegal countering and adding a series of converted frees against a few minor scores for Westmeath’s Robbie Dooley, there was to be no way back for the latter in this one.
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Damien Meehan, Sean White, Dave McSweeney, Leslie McGettigan, Ed Cleary and Kieran Keavney had a fine hour for Donegal. Dave Newman, Tom Quinn, Ed Green, Brian McCabe and Robbie Dooley bwere est for Westmeath.
Donegal scorers: E. Cleary (0-6), T. O’Donavan, D. Breslin, K. Keavney and A. Diver all (0-1).
Westmeath: R. Dooley (0-3), B. McCabe and J. Markey both (0-1).