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Nicky Rackard Cup round-up: Gilmore brace sends Donegal into final

Donegal 3-25 Tyrone 1-21

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(Stock picture)

(Stock picture)

(Stock picture)

Gerard Gilmore scored two second-half goals as Mickey McCann's Donegal claimed an impressive semi-final win in Letterkenny and set up a date with Mayo in the Nicky Rackard Cup final.

Tyrone hit the front when Keifer Morgan ended a surging 50-metre run by firing to the net past Luke White. However, Donegal hit back and Richie Ryan drilled to the net after Jack O'Loughlin did the spadework to draw his men level in the 20th minute.

White, the Donegal goalkeeper, landed a monster point from play and O'Loughlin kept the scoreboard ticking, but Tyrone led at the break.

Six minutes into the second half, Gilmore bagged the quickfire brace as Donegal opened an eight-point lead - one they held on to.

"To get 3-25 without some of our marquee forwards was excellent," said McCann, who will hope to have Declan Coulter, Bernard Lafferty and Davin Flynn for the final.

"The forwards who came in really stepped up. We're building nicely."

He said: "The likes of Joe (Boyle), Sean (McVeigh) and Danny (Cullen) have great hunger. We're playing as a unit and things are good in the camp. There is a good buzz there."

Scorers - Donegal: J O'Loughlin 0-11 (7f); G Gilmore 2-3; R Ryan 1-0; C Matthewson 0-3; J Boyle, R McDermott 0-2 each; L White, K Kealy, J Cronolly, L Henderson 0-1 each. Tyrone: D Casey 0-14 (9f); K Morgan 1-1; B McGurk 0-3; C Ferguson 0-2; C Grogan 0-1.

Donegal - L White; G Browne, S Gillespie, M Callaghan; J O'Loughlin, S McVeigh, J Boyle; M Donaghue, R McDermott; G Gilmore, D Cullen, K Kealy; C O'Grady, R Ryan, C Mathewson. Subs: L Henderson, for O Grady (45), J Cronolly for Ryan (64), C Parke for Browne (64), S Doherty for Donaghue (66), C Bradley for Mathewson (68).

Tyrone - C McElhatton; R Devlin, D Rafferty, SP McKernan;, S Donaghy, C Kearns, C Munroe; T Morgan, C Cross; C Grogan, B McGurk, K Morgan; B Molloy, D Casey, M Mulgrew. Subs: L Devlin for Cross (22), C Ferguson for McGurk (34), J McGurk for Mulgrew (53), J Kelly for Molloy (66).

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Ref - C McDonald ( Antrim).

Boland helps Mayo secure bragging rights

Mayo 3-23 Leitrim 1-11

Mayo outscored Leitrim by 2-15 to 0-3 in the second half to book their place in the final of the Nicky Rackard Cup following this entertaining semi-final at MacHale Park, Castlebar.

Such a final winning margin never looked on the cards at half-time as the sides were inseparable, a late point from Cian French putting Leitrim on level terms at 1-8 apiece but 10 first-half wides were to prove very costly for the visitors.

Behind that scoreline was some good hurling with underdogs Leitrim taking the lead twice, first when Colm Moreton scrambled the ball over the line.

Mayo responded with an excellent goal of their own from Brian Morley before Leitrim hit back late in the half with three unanswered points, two from Karl McDermott, Mayo doing likewise before that levelling score from French.

It was all Leitrim in the opening 10 minutes of the second half but Mayo found the net when Cathal Freeman's high ball from 60 yards was dropped into the net by Michael O'Brien.

Moments later, Shane Boland, who finished with 1-11, fired a cracking goal and Mayo bounded home.

Scorers - Mayo: S Boland 1-11 (10f); B Morley 1-2; S Kenny 0-4 (1 '65, 1f); C Freeman 1-0; E Delaney, A Phillips 0-2 each; L Lavin, B Hunt 0-1 each. Leitrim: K McDermott 0-4 (1f); C Moreton 1-0; G O'Hagan (2f), C French 0-2 each; B Murray, C Beirne, Z Moradi 0-1 each.

Mayo - G Kelly; G Nolan, S Coyne, J Cassidy; S Regan, D Kenny, C Freeman; A Phillips, S Mulroy; S Kenny, S Boland, C Scahill; J Coyne, B Morley, E Delaney. Subs: L Lavin for Coyle (58), C Phillips for Delaney (60), B Hunt for Mulroy (65), D Huane for Regan (66), C Murray for Cassidy (67).

Leitrim - M O'Brien; P Lenehan, D McGovern, P Early; M Feeney, L Moreton, A McDermott; E Moreton, B Murray; K McDermott, C French, C Moreton; G O'Hagan, C Beirne, S Goldrick. Subs: J McNabola for L Moreton (60), Z Moradi for O'Hagan (60), J Ward for French (60), S O'Riordan for Goldrick (65), C Mallon for McDermott (68). REF- R Fitzsimmons (Offaly)Such a final winning margin never looked on the cards at half-time as the sides were inseparable, a late point from Cian French putting Leitrim on level terms at 1-8 apiece but 10 first-half wides were to prove very costly for the visitors.


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