By Mike Fitzpatrick
Donegal 1-12, Fermanagh 1-5
Not the first Ulster clash at Gaelic Park, and with many more to come, let’s hope they’re somewhat better than this Junior Football Div. A game which never really got off the ground. Still, Donegal will be glad to have come away with the all important championship points.
Donegal gained possession early in the tie, and with Gary Dowd playing the first of his two games of the afternoon in the blistering heat, the Donegal midfielder did well to provide many useful passes upfield for his forward line to latch onto. Eoin Farrell, playing just behind Dowd, linked well with his teammate and did well to create attacking positions throughout the tie. Tadhg O’Donovan proved a constant threat to the Fermanagh backline, and his tally of four points proved to be crucial.
The Donegal forward line though, found it difficult to break their way through the Fermanagh backline in the first half, and despite the efforts of O’Donovan and Dermot Boylan, they were unable to force their side into a position where Fermanagh would find it difficult to fight back.
Fermanagh did their best, and trailing after the break they should really have clawed their way back into the game. But for some poor finishing, they would have been in contention for at least a point from the tie.
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Donegal upped the tempo a little, and though given a bit of a shock through Garret McLouglin’s goal for Fermanagh, they pressed forward, and a goal from Boylan, along with further efforts from Eoin Farrell and Liam Gallagher, clinched their third victory from only three games played.
Donegal, as is perhaps the norm, look good for glory this season, but Fermanagh still have a long season ahead of them, and having done well before this tie, they will not be too worried following this defeat.
Donegal: Frank Molloy, PJ Colgan, Enda Lohan, Mark McClafferty, Eoin Farrell (0-2), Gary Rocks, Ossie Boyle, Gary Dowd, Martin Gallagher, Liam Gallagher (0-2), Mickey McBride, Tadhg O’Donovan (0-4), James Doherty, Dermot Boylan (1-3), Paddy Burns (0-1). Subs: Leslie McGettigan, Donal Gormley, Maurice McBride, Eamon Diver.
Fermanagh: Alan Beatty, Phelim Campbell, Ciaran Lee, Noel McGovern, Damien Boyle, Francis Loughran, Pauric Monaghan, Paul McGuirk (0-1), Darren Doherty, Marty McGlade (0-1), Joe Egan (0-1), Gareth McLoughlin (1-0), Brian Shannon (0-1), Paul Maguire (0-1), Lorcan Kennedy.
Man of the match: Dermot Boylan (Donegal)