Donegal claim the spoils

Sun, Apr 22, 2007, 01:00

Donegal picked up their first ever National Football League title at Croke Park this afternoon despite leaving their supporters with frayed nerves following a 0-13 to 0-10 win over Mayo.

Brian McIver's side needed three, unanswered, injury-time points to finally kill-off the All-Ireland finalists who, despite trailing for most of the match, remained in touch until the death.

Donegal, who included Brendan Devenney and Paddy McConigley after both passed late fitness tests, raced out of the blocks, Brian Roper notching the opening two scores as the Ulster side built a four-point lead.

But Conor Mortimer breathed life into Mayo's challenge, dragging his side back into the contest with two quick scores and the lead was down to 0-7 to 0-5 at the interval.

John O'Mahony's side came out strong after the break and with Mortimer punishing any indiscretions within scoring range, gradually fought back to level matters.

But Donegal prevailed during the eight minutes added on for injuries with Eamon McGee, Rory Kavanagh and Adrian Sweeney putting daylight between the sides.