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McFadden leads line in fine style

JIM McGUINNESS' side remain on course for promotion after picking up another two points against Antrim in Fr Tierney Park, Ballyshannon.

The Tir Chonaill men are two points clear at the top, but it may take the calculators to finally decide the issue on Sunday next as Donegal travel to Portlaoise needing a draw to make sure they go up.

This was Donegal's first win at home -- they drew their other two matches -- but they have a 100pc record on the road.

Despite playing against the very strong wind, Donegal were on fire in the opening 10 minutes, hitting five points in seven minutes, with Colm McFadden leading the line in style.

Antrim got back into the contest, mainly through the industry of Thomas McCann, who hit four of their first five points.

However, Donegal, through Michael Hegarty, were back in front at the break, leading 0-8 to 0-6.

With the wind at their back they were never troubled in the second half, with Hegarty adding another point inside a minute of the restart.

They went seven points clear when McFadden was released by Anthony Thompson to fire to the net midway through the half, and while Antrim hit back with a goal from Brian Neeson, Donegal were never troubled in the final quarter, with McFadden adding a couple of more points in a man of the match performance.

While Donegal were easy winners, manager McGuinness wasn't partic-ularly happy with the way his side played. "We were just a bit below par in certain aspects. Overall, we would be disappointed with the performance, but delighted with the result."

Man of the Match: Colm McFadden

Scorers -- Donegal: C McFadden 1-5 (2f), M Murphy 0-3 (2f), K Cassidy, D Molloy (2f), M Hegarty 0-2 each, R Bradley, K Lacey, R Kavanagh 0-1 each. Antrim: T McCann 0-5 (3f), B Neeson 1-1 (1f), T O'Neill 0-2.

Donegal -- P Durcan 7; J Noctor 7, N McGee 8, A Thompson 7; F McGlynn 7, K Lacey 7, K Cassidy 7; R Kavanagh 6, M McElhinney 6; M McHugh 6, M Hegarty 8, D Molloy 6; R Bradley 7, M Murphy 6, C McFadden 8. Subs: N Gallagher 6 for McElhinney (47), A Hanlon 6 for Molloy (50), D Walsh 6 for Noctor (59).

Antrim -- S O'Neill 7; C Brady 6, R Johnston 6, A Douglas 6 ; T Scullion 7, A Healy 6, M McAleese 6; A Gallagher 7, S Burke 7; T O'Neill 7, M Sweeney 6, C Murray 6; K Brady 6, B Heron 6, T McCann 8. Subs: B Neeson 7 for McAleese (50), D Edwards 6 for Gallagher (63), C Fleming 6 for McCann (68).

Ref -- M Duffy (Sligo).

Irish Independent

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