Saturday 20 January 2018

Last-gasp Griffin shatters Sligo

Donegal 2-11
Sligo 1-14

Sligo left Ballybofey on Saturday night in a state of shock after dominating the game, yet only claiming a share of the spoils.

Mark Breheny was on fire, especially in the second half, as he powered Sligo into a 1-11 to 0-6 lead after 47 minutes. Donegal -- down to 14 men at that stage, having lost Kevin Mulhern to a second yellow two minutes from the break -- looked dead and buried.

But they had a good final 20 minutes, with Michael Murphy causing problems on the high ball, and Sligo seemed to panic. A Murphy goal from a penalty brought Donegal back into it and two minutes from time, full-back Neil McGee crept in on the blind side to convert a Murphy pass for an equalising goal.

In the final minutes Tony Taylor seemed to have won it for Sligo before sub Stephen Griffin grabbed the equalising point in the final seconds.

Sligo manager Kevin Walsh was disappointed with the outcome but remained upbeat.

"There are a lot of positives we can take out of it but there were a few one-on-ones with the goalie which we should have buried," he said.

"I hope the Sligo fans get behind this team as we have put a lot of work in over the past few years."

Donegal led by 0-5 to 0-3 at one stage in the opening half but some great points from Adrian Marren put Sligo 0-8 to 0-6 ahead at the break.

"We certainly got food for thought and we have a lot of things to iron out over the next two weeks," said Donegal manager Jim McGuinness. "We were very disappointed with our first-half performance. We didn't turn up."

Scorers -- Donegal: M Murphy 1-2 (1-0 pen, 2f), C McFadden 0-3, N McGee 1-0, L McLoone, D Molloy (2f) 0-2 each, R Kavanagh, S Griffin 0-1 each. Sligo: A Marren, M Breheny (2f) 0-4 each, D Kelly 1-1, T Taylor 0-2, M Quinn, S GIlmartin, S Davey 0-1 each.

Donegal -- P Boyle; P McGrath, N McGee, K Mulhern; A Thompson, L McLoone, K Cassidy; R Kavanagh, R Bradley; M McElhinney, D Molloy, M McHugh; K Lacey, M Murphy, C McFadden. Subs: D McLaughlin for McElhinney (28), B Dunnion for Thompson (40), S Griffin for Molloy, C Classon for Bradley (both 47), D Walsh for McLaughlin (62).

Sligo -- P Greene; C Harrison, C Davey, R Donovan; K Cawley, M Quinn, P McGovern; T Taylor, S Gilmartin; M Breheny, E O'Hara, F Quinn; D Maye, A Marren, D Kelly. Subs: S Coen for Maye (47), S Davey for Quinn (61).

Ref -- P Hughes (Armagh)

Irish Independent

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