Peter Daly frees prove vital for Fingal in Letterkenny
FINGAL 2-11 DONEGAL 1-12
FINGAL upset the odds by beating holders Donegal in Letterkenny.
Donegal were coasting, but let an eight-point lead slip as two late Peter Daly frees steered Fingal to victory.
The home side lost star man Danny Cullen to an ankle injury in the 59th minute and his absence was noticeable when the going got tough.
With Cullen the architect, Donegal took command and led 1-8 to 1-0 after 21 minutes.
Fingal hit back when Dave Smyth drilled home from close range and Donegal were soon reeled in. Tir Chonaill boss Ray Durack said: "I've been here for a couple of years and it might be time for a new face."
Scorers – Fingal: P Daly 0-7 (6fs, 1 '65), D Kelly 1-2, D Smyth 1-0, A Richardson, C Foley 0-1 each. Donegal: E McDermott 1-0, K Campbell (3fs), D Cullen (2fs), C Matthewson (2fs, 1 '65) 0-3 each, S McVeigh 0-2, R McDermott 0-1.
FINGAL – H Murray-Hession; P Coyne, I Kennedy, A Morris; N Ring, D Vaughan, P Sheridan; D Hattie, R McGarry; D Kelly, A Richardson, C O'Flynn; C Foley, D Smyth, P Daly. Subs: B Kelly for Sheridan (10), D Butterly for Foley (46).
DONEGAL – P Burns; B Tourish, J McGhee, S Gallen; J Donnelly, J Boyle, C McDermott; P Sheridan, D Cullen; R McDermott, E McDermott, S McVeigh; K Campbell, P Hannigan, C Matthewson. Subs: J Browne for Cullen (59), E Organ for Campbell (63).
REF – J Clarke (Cavan).