RORY GALLAGHER’S DONEGAL open their Allianz League Division 1 campaign against Down in Newry this evening. Follow us here for the action from Pairc Esler.
FULL-TIME DOWN 0-7 DONEGAL 3-15
70+2 mins – Patrick McBrearty scores – following a Rory Kavanagh assist. Down 0-7 Donegal 3-15
66 mins – Straight red for Donal O’Hare. Eamon McGee black-carded. Off the ball incident. Donegal have no subs left so will be forced to play it out with 14. Referee David Gough made a gesture suggesting O’Hare struck.
64 mins – Michael Murphy. Eight points from seven frees and a sideline ball. There’s 3,600 in Newry. Well, there was but a lot of their home support is on their way home. Coalan McGonagle is on for Ryan McHugh. Down 0-7 Donegal 3-14
62 mins – He’s back! Rory Kavanagh is on for his first appearance since making his comeback having initially retired last season. Kavanagh is on for Martin O’Reilly.
60 mins – Michael Murphy’s seventh placed ball, just as his clubmate Neil Gallagher enters the fray. Down 0-7 Donegal 3-13
58 mins – GOAL FOR DONEGAL. Ryan McHugh gets his second with a slap home from close range thanks to Martin O’Reilly, who passed up a near certain goal himself. Michael Murphy and Patrick McBrearty all in the move. Very good team goal. Down 0-7 Donegal 3-12
55 mins – Leo McLoone scores from another fine run from Ryan McHugh, who gets hit late by Conaill McGovern. The Down centre-back is black-carded. From the next play, Leo McLoone scores again. Down 0-6 Donegal 2-12
53 mins – Stephen McBrearty is on for his league debut; he replaces Odhrán MacNiallais. Donal O’Hare pops over a free for the hosts from right in front of the posts Down 0-6 Donegal 2-10
50 mins – Donal O’Hare slots ove a free for Down. Down 0-6 Donegal 2-10
48 mins – Another fine score for Donegal. This time, Frank McGlynn is the scorer after being set-up by the unselfish Patrick McBrearty. Down 0-5 Donegal 2-10
45 mins – Michéal Carroll is black-carded for a late tackle on Donal O’Hare. Leo McLoone is on. In the next play, O’Hare scores a long-range free after a foul by Odhrán MacNiallais – Down 0-5 Donegal 2-9
42 mins GOAL FOR DONEGAL and it’s another one with the Kilcar fingerprints all over it. A long ball in from Ciaran Thompson is gathered by Patrick McBrearty, who, on the turn, rams the ball past Stephen Kane. Down 0-4 Donwgal 2-9
41 mins GOAL FOR DONEGAL and it’s a beauty. Ryan McHugh’s penetrating run pierces a hole in the Down defence and plays a one-two with Ciaran Thompson and slaps it into the empty net. Down 0-4 Donegal 1-9
39 mins Eamonn Doherty gives away a free, penalised for a foul on Donal O’Hare, who points from free. Niall Madine is on for Down in place of Arthur McConville at full-forward. Down 0-4 Donegal 0-9
36 mins – The second half is underway in Newry.
Good first half from Donegal. Peter Boyle’s penalty save from Donal O’Hare snuffed out Down’s best period and it was a good moment for the Aodh Ruadh goalkeeper who has just returned to the panel after two years out.
Ryan McHugh started well and Eoin McHugh was very lively, fast and direct in possession. Ciaran Thompson fitting in well but the real talking point: How good is Michael Murphy from placed balls? So far, he’s been untouchable.
HALF-TIME DOWN 0-3 DONEGAL 0-9
35 mins – Darren O’Hagan tugs Patrick McBrearty and the Kilcar forward tosses the ball to Michael Murphy, who has been flawless. Again, right over the black spot. Five in a row for Donegal. Six from six for Murphy. Down 0-3 Donegal 0-9
34 mins – Five placed balls now for Michael Murphy. He was just left of centre from 30 metres and made it look simple. Odhrán MacNiallais was the one fouled. Down 0-3 Donegal 0-8
31 mins – Patrick McBrearty puts over a routine free to push Donegal’s lead out to four. Down 0-3 Donegal 0-7
28 mins – Ryan Johnston of Down is going off injured holding his shoulder and Joe Murphy has been black-carded for a deliberate trip on Anthony Thompson. Conaill McGovern is down injured as well.
25 mins – Eoin McHugh, again, shows his clean heels. Another positive run but his pass is just that little too far from Patrick McBrearty. From the sideline ball Michael Murphy puts over a stunning effort, that clips the bar on the way over. Excellent stuff from the Donegal captain. Down 0-3 Donegal 0-6
23 mins – Eoin McHugh is fouled again and Michael Murphy scores again from the free. It’s the Glenswilly forward’s third pointed free – Down 0-3 Donegal 0-5
Neil McGee was black-carded in the lead-up to the penalty for a sliding tackle, soccer style, for fouling Ryan Johnston after he nips in to intercept a kick-out from Peter Boyle to Eamonn Doherty. Eamon McGee will replace his brother. Point for Arthur McConville following Peter Boyle’s save. It’s livening up. Down 0-3 Donegal 0-4
19 mins – Peter Boyle saves Donal O’Hare’s penalty. Great stop
PENALTY FOR DOWN
18 mins – Point for Down from Conaill McGovern – good move. Down 0-2 Donegal 0-4
16 mins – Lightening feet from Eoin McHugh to win a free for Donegal. It’s meat and drink for Michael Murphy, who scores from 25 metres with the minimum of fuss. Down 0-1 Donegal 0-4
11 mins – Patrick McBrearty – back in the team having played with McKenna Cup for UUJ – slots over left-footed after a pass from Anthony Thompson – Down 0-1 Donegal 0-3
9 mins – Down are off the mark. Arthur McConville pops over a free – Down 0-1 Donegal 0-2
8 mins – Donegal don’t look to be doing much different from in recent years but that’s not a bad thing. Good possession so far. Ciaran Thompson’s shot for his second point drops short and Stephen Kane, the Down goalkeeper, gathers – Down 0-0 Donegal 0-2
7 mins – After Ryan McHugh is tugged, Michael Murphy lamps over a long-range free, from all of 45 metres, to double Donegal’s advantage – Down 0-0 Donegal 0-2
3 mins – Ciaran Thompson has scored a number of eye-catching points already this year and he opens his account for the Donegal seniors with a splendid effort – Down 0-0 Donegal 0-1
Michael Murphy and Ciaran Thompson started at midfield on a night where the Naomh Conaill clubman and Michéal Carroll are making their league debuts. In goal, Peter Boyle is in for the first time since 2011 against Sligo – Jim McMcGuinness’s first league game against Sligo
Donegal: Peter Boyle; Eamonn Doherty, Neil McGee, Paddy McGrath; Ryan McHugh, Frank McGlynn, Anthony Thompson; Hugh McFadden, Odhrán MacNiallais; Michéal Carroll, Ciaran Thompson, Eoin McHugh; Patrick McBrearty, Michael Murphy, Martin O’Reilly.
Down play as per programme: