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McGuinness targets Monaghan clash after sweeping Galway aside

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Michael Martin, Galway, in action against Frank McGlynn, Donegal

Michael Martin, Galway, in action against Frank McGlynn, Donegal

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Karl Lacy, Donegal, in action against Sean Denvir, Galway

Karl Lacy, Donegal, in action against Sean Denvir, Galway

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Galway goalkeeper Manus Breathnach, left, congratulates Donegal's Colm McFadden as he signs an autograph for a young Galway fan after the game

Galway goalkeeper Manus Breathnach, left, congratulates Donegal's Colm McFadden as he signs an autograph for a young Galway fan after the game

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Michael Martin, Galway, in action against Frank McGlynn, Donegal

Donegal manager Jim McGuinness believes that their eagerly anticipated clash with Ulster champions Monaghan in a few weeks will give him an indication of just how well they are going.

His men looked impressive in Pearse Stadium in Galway yesterday as they backed up their opening-round win away to Laois with another solid performance.

Now high-flying Monaghan will provide the test for their first home match and McGuinness is already looking forward to that clash.

"That's going to be a huge game obviously. With them playing well at the moment it's going to be a good test for us. It was similar to last week in many ways in that in the first half we were playing against a stiff breeze and our running game had to come into effect. We kicked 1-6 against a very stiff breeze in the first half and that gave us a platform to push on in the second-half.

"We would have liked to have pushed on more in the second half, ideally, but Galway came out strong and brought the game to us, but we showed a good bit of character at the end to tack on a good few scores."

Galway struggled to match Donegal's powerful running game with Rory Kavanagh and Martin McElhinney dominant around the middle of the field.

Former Kildare star James Kavanagh adopted a roving role and while he got on a lot of ball so too did his marker Karl Lacey.

Galway suffered a double blow towards the end of the first quarter as full-back Finian Hanley limped off with a leg injury before Kavanagh and Dermot Molloy combined to set up Colm McFadden for the only goal of the game, a well-placed shot to the bottom-left corner after 14 minutes.

"That was the vital score, they were able to get ahead of us and keep that gap throughout," said Galway manager Alan Mulholland, whose side trailed by 1-6 to 0-4 at the interval.

"To give a team like Donegal a five-point lead was a bit too much but we asked the lads for an extra effort facing into that wind in the second half and we were very happy with the performance we had.

"We got it back to three and if we had kicked on we could have made it very interesting at the end but Donegal are a very experienced side and it was a little bit too difficult for us at present."

Eoin Concannon did most to get the Tribesmen moving after the restart and he kicked three excellent scores.

But at the other end Michael Murphy was tacking on some key points from play and placed balls, while Paddy McBrearty pushed them clear when he landed three points from play after coming on.

Galway never looked like getting in for the goal which would have given them a chance and it was Donegal who finished strongly to send out a clear signal that they again mean business this year.

Few would have expected them to target the league but two away wins on the trot sets them up nicely and their first home game with Monaghan is sure to attract a huge crowd to Letterkenny.

SCORERS – Donegal: C McFadden 1-4 (3fs), M Murphy 0-4 (2fs), P McBrearty 0-3; D Molloy 0-2; O Mac Niallais, R McHugh, D Walsh 0-1 each. Galway: P Conroy, E Concannon 0-3 each, G Sice 0-2, S Armstrong (f), M Martin, P Varley, D Cummins 0-1 each.

Galway – M Breathnach 6; D O'Neill 6, F Hanley 6, J Moore 7; S Denvir 6, J Duane 7, P Varley 6; P Conroy 7, T Flynn 6; G Sice 7, S Armstrong 6, G Bradshaw 6; M Martin 6, E Concannon 7, J Kavanagh 6. Subs: A Tierney 6 for Hanley (inj 12), G O'Donnell 7 for Denvir (33), D Comer 6 for Sice (63), D O'Connell 6 for Bradshaw (50), D Cummins 6 for Martin (55).

Donegal – P Durcan 6; K Lacey 9, N McGee 6, R McHugh 7; F McGlynn 6, L McLoone 7, A Thompson 6; R Kavanagh 8, M McElhinney 7, M McHugh 8, C Toye 7, O Mac Niallais 7, C McFadden 9, M Murphy 8, D Molloy 7. Subs: D Walsh 6 for Lacey (68), N Gallagher 7 for Kavanagh (h-t), P McBrearty 8 for Toye (43), A McFadden 6 for Molloy (48).

REF – F Kelly (Longford)

Irish Independent