By Mike Fitzpatrick
Donegal 6-4, Westput Gaels 1-7
Not many would bet against the Donegal senior side of gaining championship glory this season, and it now looks as if that goes for the junior side too.
Coming into this Div. A tie versus a Westput side that had been looking good recently, Donegal weren’t such a safe bet to clinch victory. After a couple of minutes however, it became increasingly obvious as to who was to gather the points.
Storming into an early lead, due to efforts from Sean Marty Lockhard and Tadhg Donovan, Donegal began to ease past the Westput defense in search of goal.
Increasing their lead, thanks to more successful goalbound efforts from Donovan and Enda Lohan, it looked as if we were about to witness a record score. Westput picked themselves up however, and a convincing display from captain Mike Deere, and forwards Stephen Donnelly and Ronan Goulding in the first half, brought the upstate lads back into the fray a little.
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Westput have had something of a topsy turvy season so far, having now won one, drawn one and lost two of their four games played. Although playoff contention is not completely out of the question, they did themselves no favors here. Rockland are now favorites to gain a playoff position with Rangers, with Donegal grabbing places themselves as, perhaps, expected.
The second half continued in much the same way, with many of the spectators wondering just whether this Donegal team can be stopped.
There are still a number of A Division games left, but the lads from Ulster are certain for qualification following this display.
Westput simply must win their remaining ties to fight off the challenge of Down and Fermanagh who follow them in the table’s standings.
Donegal: Frank Molloy, Pat McGill, Martin Gallagher, Gary Rocks, Owen Farrell, Mark McClaferty, Ray Kane, Gary Dowd (1-1), James Doherty, Sean McGinlay, Enda Lohan (1-0), Liam Gallagher (1-0), Conor Ward, Sean Marty Lockhard (0-1), Tadgh Donovan (3-2).
Westput: Tommy Feighery, Mike Deere, Sean Burke, James Stanton, John Higgins, Brendan Owens, Mike Conway, Conall Martin, Stephen Donnelly (1-0), Derek Savage (0-4), Ronan Goulding,(0-2), Ronan McCaffery, James Beatty, Jim Burke, Gerry Farrell (0-1),. Sub, Kevin McManus.