Donegal taught a harsh lesson
Mayo 2-16 Donegal 1-9
Donegal were given a rough welcome to life in Division 2B as they fell to a ten-point defeat in Ballina.
Mayo played with a gale force wind in the opening period and led by ten at the break. Despite Donegal showing fleeting signs of life in the third quarter, the home side saw the game out in relative comfort, as Kenny Feeney's goal with eight minutes to play effectively ended the game as a contest.
A goal from Davin Flynn had given Donegal a brief lead after 10 minutes but they went scoreless for the rest of the half as Feeney, Shane Boland, Sean Regan and Keith Higgins, who lined out here instead of with Mayo's footballers in Clones, racked up the scores.
The excellent Lee Henderson kept Donegal in with a shout through his dead ball accuracy in the third quarter but once Feeney buried Mayo's second goal to go with Regan's first-half effort, the result was never in any doubt.
Scorers - Mayo: S Regan; K Feeney 1-2 (0-1f) each; S Boland 0-4 (3fs); KHiggins 0-4 (1f); C Freeman, D Kenny, K McDermott and P Kiely 0-1 each. Donegal: L Henderson 0-8 (7fs, 1 '65); DFlynn 1-0; D Cullen 0-1.
Mayo: D O'Brien 8; A Brennan 7, C Daly 7, B Hunt 8; M Morley 6, E McLoughlin 7, C Freeman 8; D Kenny 7, J Cotter 6; S Regan 8, K Feeney 7, K McDermott 6; S Boland 8, K Higgins 7, S Mulroy 6. Subs: D McTigue 6 for Mulroy (49 mins), P Kiely 7 for Cotter (55), Conor Henry 6 for McDermott (60), Tony Sweeney & Jason Coyne for Morley & Boland (66).
Donegal: P Burns 6; D Grant 5, C McDermott 6, G Browne 6; P Doherty 5, J Donnelly 4, C Mathewson 5; J Boyle 6, S Gillespie 6; L Henderson 8, C Finn 5, G Gilmore 6; D Cullen 6, R McDermott 5, D Flynn 6. Subs: S Doherty for Cullen (26-28 mins, blood), Doherty 5 for Finn (41), N Cleary 4 for Grant (48), K Campbell 5 for Gillespie (52), D Lafferty for Burns (69).
Ref: G Quilty (Kilkenny).