Donegal held on in their Bank of Ireland All-Ireland Senior Football Championship quarter-final replay today in Castlebar to beat Galway 0-14 to 0-11.
The first half opened in much the same fashion as the first half of the drawn game, with Donegal completely in control. Brendan Devenney was the fulcrum of the Donegal attack with the first three Donegal points coming from him. Kevin Walsh and Michael Meehan answered for Galway.
Adrian Sweeney got his name on the scoreboard twice for Donegal as Galway continued to struggle with the men from Ulster. Michael Donnellan, Meehan and Paul Clancy scored for Galway while Donegal scored through Christy Toye, Sweeney and Devenney.
Galway were kicking a huge amount of wides – they would finish the half with ten, two short of their tally for the entire drawn game. The most damaging of these came when Padraig Joyce had a gilt-edged opportunity to find the net but his shot ricocheted off the upright. The last two scores of the half, through Michael Donnellan for Galway then Michael Hegarty for Donegal, left the score at the break 0-09 0-06.
Donegal made a great start to the second half. Points from Toye, Sweeney, Brendan Boyle and Hegarty put them seven points ahead. It was nearly fifteen minutes before Galway would get their first point of the half - through Joe Bergin. The Tribesmen were then given another goal chance after a great run-in by Meehan but, when his pass inside found Joyce, the Galwayman was surrounded by backs and the ball was cleared. Devenney continued his fine game, kicking yet another point.
Galway began a late comeback with around fifteen minutes to go. Joyce got his first point of the match on the 57th minute, brining the Tribesmen to within six points of Donegal. They got yet another chance at goal when Meehan had a shot on goal blocked by the outstretched leg of Tony Blake. They continued to press hard and the Donegal backline didn't look steady.
Joyce pointed again to reduce the margin to five points, but a goal was really what was needed and they were thwarted in their route to net one more time when a ball out of the goal by Tony Blake found Matthew Clancy who’s shot was goalbound, but Shane Carr got in front of the goal to stop it. Meehan and Donnellan pointed before the end, but it was too little too late as Donegal advance to the next round.
Filed by Barry J Whyte