Donegal draw after wasting big lead


NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE DIVISION ONE - Donegal 2-10 Mayo 1-13:DONEGAL SQUANDERED a nine-point half-time lead to get just a draw against Mayo at O’Donnell Park, Letterkenny, on Saturday. Two brilliant Michael Murphy goals inside 13 minutes put Donegal in control as the Mayo full-back-line collapsed.

Despite the bad start, Mayo were in touch thanks to Conor Mortimer for the first 20 minutes but then Donegal landed points from Ciarán Bonner, Griffin (2), Michael Doherty and David Walsh to lead by 2-8 to 0-5 at the break.

“There is a slight feeling of defeat. I don’t know if we deserved a nine-point lead at half-time or not,” said Donegal manager, John Joe Doherty afterwards.

It was a much different story in the second half as Ronan McGarrity and Trevor Mortimer stirred Mayo from their slumber. A Barry Moran goal and points from Trevor Mortimer and Mickey Sweeney had the margin down to three points midway through the half. However, it seemed as if Donegal had overcome the Mayo comeback when they lead by four points with six minutes remaining. At that stage McGarrity had departed the scene, a victim of the only yellow card of the contest.

Mayo also had a slice of luck with 13 minutes left when John Bannon declined to award what looked a certain penalty to the home side when Stephen Griffin was hauled back. They took full advantage in the dying minutes with two Conor Mortimer points, one from Barry Moran and the equaliser from substitute Kieran Conroy with three extra minutes on the clock. Donegal can have little complaint, having scored just two points (frees) in the second half despite of possession.

“We collectively took responsibility for it in the second half,” said Mayo manager John O’Mahony.

DONEGAL:M Boyle; Declan Walsh, N McGee, P McDaid; F McGlynn, B Monaghan, E McGee (0-1); N Gallagher, C Bonner (0-2); R Kavanagh, C Dunne, David Walsh (0-1); M Doherty (0-1), S Griffin (0-5, frees), Michael Murphy (2-0). Subs: B Boyle for Dunne, E Waide for McGlynn, C McFadden for Murphy, K McMenamin for David Walsh, L Thompson for Doherty.

MAYO:D Clarke; L O’Malley, G Cafferkey, D Vaughan; P Gardiner (0-1), T Cunniffe, P Kelly; T Parsons, R McGarrity; B Padden (0-1), T Mortimer (0-1), A Dillon (0-1, free); C Mortimer (0-6, four frees), B Moran (1-1), A Moran. Subs: B Kelly for Dillon, M Sweeney (0-1) for Kelly, P Harte for Padden, M Ronaldson for Parsons, K Conroy (0-1) for McGarrity (yellow card).

Referee:J Bannon (Longford).