Donegal still in holiday mode


Fermanagh 2-15 Donegal 2-7:From the Dubai desert heat to the Fermanagh fog in about a day and a half, Jim McGuinness and his Donegal squad came back down to earth with a mild bump at Brewster Park last night.

None of the Donegal players who started the All-Ireland final were on show.McGuinness said: “It would have been very foolish to throw anyone in there and possibly put them in danger after the long flight and trip home yesterday”.

He indicated it could be the opening league match against Kildare next month before any of his All-Ireland champions take to the field.

Six of last year’s squad, including Adrian Hanlon, Marty Boyle and Gary McFadden, lined out with five debutants. Midfielder Packie Mailey, a former professional with Scottish SPL outfit Hibernian, was given a chance to impress. The other newcomers to start were defenders Kevin McFadden, Ciarán Cannon and corner-forwards Seán McGarvey and William Gillespie.

Bundoran’s Shane McGowan, back after a lengthy absence, was involved in the first two scores of the game. His mistake allowed Daryl Kennan to goal in the fifth minute but he partially made amends by scoring a point a minute later.

After 15 minutes the PA announcer reminded the 1,530 hardy souls – unable to see the scoreboard on the far side of the field due to fog – the score was 1-1 to 0-2. Fermanagh led 1-6 to 0-4 at the break, Johnny Woods and substitute Marty O’Brien blazing shots over when they could have had goals.

Peter Canavan fielded a strong Fermanagh team and Paul Ward impressed, hitting four points from play. Fermanagh, back training since October, were sharper, and Tomás Corrigan’s 45th-minute goal stretched their lead. Two Donegal goals in as many minutes from Adrian Hanlon and Dermot Molloy 10 minutes from the end made it more respectable.

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