Brennan blasts home to put Donegal in driving seat
Donegal 1-10 Derry 0-8
DONEGAL'S strength in depth proved crucial as three late points from subs killed off a Derry fight back at Celtic park.
Having lead by 1-6 to 0-3 at half-time, Declan Bonner's side had their advantage cut to two points with 10 minutes to play before Gavin McBride, Stephen McBrearty and Ethan O'Donnell hit those three late scores to secure victory.
Donegal's Cian Mulligan opened the scoring after a minute and John Campbell kicked three successive points before Danny Tallon got Derry off the mark with a '45.'
Donegal dominated in midfield and soon after Jamie Brennan blasted past his marker and rattled the Derry net, giving Donegal their 1-6 to 0-3 interval lead.
Derry got the opening two scores of the second half to close the gap to four points and an unlikely comeback looked on the cards before a late flurry of scores made the game safe for Donegal.
SCORERS – Donegal: J Campbell 0-3, J Brennan 1-0, C McGonigle 0-2 (1 '45'), C Mulligan, M Carroll, S McBrearty, E O'Donnell , G McBride (f) 0-1 each. Derry: D Tallon 0-3, (1 '45'), J Doherty, P Hagan, B Grant (f), R McElwee (f), S Murphy, ('45') 0-1 each.
Donegal – D Rodgers; D McMonagle, C Gillespie , C Kelly; A McClean, T McClenaghan, C Mulligan; N Harley, C McGonigle; E Gallagher, L Connor, M Carroll; J Brennan, J Campbell, N Friel. Subs: C Bonner for McClean (h-t), G McBride 7 for Campbell (43), S McBrearty 6 for Carroll (48), C O'Boyle 6 for Mulligan (49) E O'Donnell 6 for Bonner (50).
Derry – C Mullan-Young; M McAvoy, P McNeill , C McNeill; D McColgan, N Keenan, C Mulholland; C Glass, J Doherty; P Hagan, T Flanagan, O Duffin; B Grant, D Tallon, R McElwee 6. Subs: D Curran for Duffin (25), S Murphy for McColgan, L O'Hara for Flanagan (both h-t), S Quinn for McNeill (58 black card).
Ref – R Barry (Down)