A brilliant second-half performance from Donegal gave Mickey Moran's men an impressive 3-12 to 1-06 victory over Down to earn a place in this year's Bank of Ireland Ulster Football semi-final with Derry. Below par Down were just four points adrift at the interval following a tight opening 35, with Adrian Sweeney's stunning opening goal just before the break giving the 1992 All-Ireland champions a significant cushion.
However, early second-half points from midfielders Jim McGuinness and John Gildea saw a rampant Donegal open a six point lead, which was extended to nine with a goal from Brian Roper in the ninth minute. Raymond Sweeney's initial shot was blocked down by Don Gordon, but the ball fell sweetly for Roper and the Aodh Rua man hammered home with a powerful drive from close range.
Down only registered their first score of the second-half in the 17th minute when Mickey Linden pointed a free but Donegal continued to torture the Down defence as Brendan Devenney and Roper added fine points from play. Points from Linden, Ronan Sexton and former Fermanagh star Shane King were quickly erased when the impressive Devenney took on three Down defenders before crashing the ball to the Down net as Donegal ran out easy 12 point winners. They will play Derry, winners over Antrim this afternoon, in two weeks' time. James McCartan, returning to the side following a lengthy absence, scored Down's goal.
Filed by Shane Murray