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Feeney's last-gasp strike denies battling Donegal in thriller

Already through to the final, an understrength Fingal secured a dramatic victory at Lawless Park yesterday, with Niall Feeney grabbing the decisive goal with the very last puck of the game.

Fingal were quickly in the ascendancy, with dead ball specialist JM Sheridan firing them into a four-point lead early on, and they went further ahead on the quarter-hour when Graham Dillon goaled.

Donegal, however, got back into the game. Niall Campbell was particularly prominent with six first-half points as they cut Fingal's lead to 1-10 to 1-8 by the break.

A green flag straight after the interval from Danny Cullen put Donegal in front for the first time before Ronan McDermott bagged two additional goals.

However, the introduction of Andrew Richardson strengthened the Fingal attack and, with just seconds to go, he set up Feeney for the winning score.

Man of the Match: JM Sheridan (Fingal)

Scorers -- Fingal: JM Sheridan 0-12 (5f, 1 '65'), G Dillon 1-2, N Feeney 1-0, C Donegan, E Power, D Keogh, D Byrne, A Richardson 0-1 each. Donegal: N Campbell 0-9 (4f), R McDermott 2-1, C O'Caillin, D Cullen 1-0 each, J Boyle 0-2.

Fingal -- C Harford 6; A Cullen 6, J McAnaw 7, N Feeney 8; P Quinn 8, M Cussen 8, P Balfe 7; D Byrne 7, E Power 8; A Creane 7, R McGarry 7, J O'Callaghan 7; C Donegan 7, JM Sheridan 9, G Dillon 8. Subs: A O'Leary 7 for O'Callaghan (41), C Corcoran 7 for McGarry (41), D Keogh 8 for Byrne (51), A Richardson 7 for Donegan (50) , A Morris 7 for Balfe (61).

Donegal -- P Burns 7; B Harrigan 8, M Mc Grath 6, S Gallen 8; J Browne 7, J McGee 7, C McDermott 7; J Boyle 8, A McDermott 7; N Campbell 9 , P Sheridan 7, E McDermott 7; L Henderson 7, C O' Caillin 7, M McGee 7. Subs: P Doherty 7 for Mc Grath (20), D Cullen 7 for O Caillin (h-t), R McDermott 8 for McGee (42).

Ref -- P O'Dwyer (Carlow)

Irish Independent