By Mike Fitzpatrick
Donegal 2-22, Dublin 1-6
Missing regulars Ian Mullett, Shane Nugent and Pádraig Broderick, Dublin were without much of their badly needed firepower from the very start of this game.
Following this defeat, Dublin now find themselves in serious trouble at the bottom of Division A, and must pick up points in their next game if they are to avoid the dreaded drop back into the B division next year. Donegal on the other hand, are looking good for glory this year, having recorded this fabulous 19-point victory, and their A division rivals Rangers must surely be looking over their shoulders at the Ulster side.
There was never really any doubt concerning the eventual outcome of the game. Donegal took to the tie immediately, with their full forward line attacking from the first whistle. An early lead was registered thanks to Dermot Boylan, James Doherty, Anton Diver and a goal from Gary Dowd, and many more were quick to follow. The first half continued in this vein with a rampant Donegal side hitting scores over the bar from a multitude of players.
Although the Dublin backline persistently attempted to foil the attacking from the Ulster forwards, Donegal were just too strong, though Dublin did manage to hit a few points thanks to Fergal Mulvaney and Alan Carey.
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Lawrence McGrath and Paul Timoney almost completely changed the side around throughout the sweltering afternoon, bringing on no fewer than seven substitutes during the 60 minutes, and each player brought on contributed wholeheartedly to the afternoon’s action.
Dublin no doubt would have performed a lot better had they possessed their missing strikeforce of Mullet, Nugent and co., but it’s doubtful whether even the presence of these gifted individuals would have done much to prevent this Donegal side from sweeping all before them. Donegal certainly look good for silverware, and thought there are other top rate sides in this division, nobody has really performed to the level that this Ulster side have begun to achieve.
Donegal: Frank Molloy, Pat McGill, Mark McClafferty, PJ Colgan, Michael McCloone (0-1), Marin Gallagher, Raymond Kane, Gary Dowd (1-1), Michael McClafferty, Sean McGinlay (0-1), James Doherty (0-2), Tadhg O’Donovan (0-2), Vincent Collins (0-2), Dermot Boylan (0-4), Anton Diver (0-3) Subs Barry McAndrews, Paddy Travers, Owen McClafferty, Owen Farrell, Francis Diver (0-1), Darren McGuinness (1-0), Finbarr Collins (0-5).
Dublin: Paddy Murphy, Dermot Rice, Kevin Rice, Mickey Cusack, Gerry McCormack, Anthony O’Hare, Niall Rice, Damian Hallassy, Mike Crowley (1-0), Mickey Carroll, Alan Carey (0-1), Eamon Cullen, Fergal Mulvanney (0-2), Naoise Boyle, Damian Powderley, Subs Paddy Hand, Ronan Dolan (0-1), Mike Costello, Willie Coogan (0-2).