Donegal safe as Mathewson helps to see off Tyrone threat
Donegal 2-16 Tyrone 2-12
DONEGAL held off a fight back from brave Tyrone to preserve their Allianz NHL Division 2B status on Saturday at Celtic Park.
First-half goals by Ciaran Mathewson and teenager Jack O'Loughlin ensured Donegal had enough leeway when Tyrone went on the comeback trail.
After an epic 4-13 apiece draw a week earlier, the north-west rivals served up another blockbuster in the replay.
Mathewson took just two minutes to net the opening goal, latching onto a long ball from Christopher McDermott before picking his spot. On 18 minutes, the excellent O'Loughlin was sent scampering through by Danny Cullen and he made no mistake in riffling past John Devlin.
With Lee Henderson and Sean McVeigh clipping over scores, Donegal led 2-8 to 0-8 at the break. However, Tyrone had come right back with two quick-fire goals. Damian Casey drilled a penalty to the Donegal net and in the 43rd minute the sides were all square as Conor Grogan's first-time effort beat Dylan Laverty. Donegal hit 19 wides, but Ray Durack's men eked out a win.
Scorers - Donegal: J O'Loughlin 1-2, L Henderson (2 '65), S McVeigh 0-5 each, C Matthewson 1-0, E McDermott 0-2, R McDermott, B Lafferty 0-1 each. Tyrone: D Casey 1-5 (1 pen, 3f), C Grogan 1-3, G Gilmore 0-3, P McHugh 0-1.
DONEGAL - D Laverty 7; B Tourish 6, J Boyle 6, J Downey 6; C McDermott 7, J Donnelly 7, P Doherty 6; D Cullen 8, R McDermott 7; J O'Loughlin 8, C Matthewson 7, B Lafferty 6; L Henderson 7, S McVeigh 7, E McDermott 7. Subs: Chris Kilgannon 6 for Downey (44), Ciaran Kilgannon 6 for Tourish (60).
TYRONE - J Devlin 6; C McNally 6, M O'Gorman 6, M Grogan 6; P McHugh 7, D Begley 6, T Tiernan 7; J Kelly 7, A Kelly 7; M Winters 6, D Casey 8, C Cross 6; C Grogan 7, S Og Grogan, G Gilmore 6. Subs: C Gallagher 6 for C Cross (50).
REF - E Hasson (Derry)
It was club championship weekend in the Kingdom, and two Kerry stars who saw no league action – James O’Donoghue and Aidan O’Mahony – returned with a vengeance.
Michael Geaney was back for Dingle, while Donnchadh Walsh played in a losing Cromane side.
The return of O’Donoghue after being out for over five months with a shoulder injury will gladden Kerry supporters’ hearts. His introduction at half-time by Legion proved a game changer as Kerins O’Rahilly’s looked to be on the way to quarter-finals, leading 0-9 to 0-5.
O’Donoghue’s four-point haul helped level the game, before Conor Keane fired over the winning point for Legion. O’Rahilly’s go into the relegation SFC pot for 2016.
O’Donoghue looked sharp despite Cormac Coffey doing a good marking job on him.
Legion will now face their Killarney rivals Dr Crokes, who crushed St Michaels/Foilmore 6-22 to 0-3. Colm Cooper directed operations expertly before being called ashore on 40 minutes
Geaney kicked 0-2 as Dingle beat a gutsy Kilcummin side 0-14 to 0-11.
O’Mahony’s Rathmore required extra-time before seeing off a stubborn Milltown/Castlemaine 3-12 to 0-15. And Ardfert came from behind to beat Laune Rangers 2-16 to 0-15.