Donegal beat Louth in Ballyshannon in Division Two

The team managed by Jim McGuinness have now picked up nine points from five outings

Donegal 1-17 Louth 0-15

Donegal are just one win away from promotion back to Division one of the Allianz League following their victory over Louth in Ballyshannon.

The team managed by Jim McGuinness have now picked up nine points from five outings ahead of their trip to Dr Cullen Park to take on tenants Kildare on Saturday week.

With Derry to come in the Ulster SFC quarter-final, you get the impression McGuinness will want to get things done sooner rather than later. At Fr Tierney Park, they did what they had to do, while Louth did what they’ve been doing. So near. So far.

The margin of victory was harsh enough on Ger Brennan’s side, who were right in the mix until the last quarter when Jeaic Mac Ceallabhuí slapped home an untidy but effective goal for Donegal.


Louth failed to deal with a dropping ball in from Daire Ó Baoill and Hugh McFadden laid off for Mac Ceallabhuí to put Donegal 1-12 to 0-10 and finally put some daylight in it. There was a hint of a suspicion of throw ball in the lead up, although once the green flag went up whatever chance Louth had of getting something from the game was unlikely.

Donegal had captain Patrick McBrearty on form with eight points, as Louth’s challenge was typically boosted by Sam Mulroy, who put over seven for the visitors.

McBrearty kicked five first-half points, including one brilliant effort from the sideline just beside the shadow of the old Aodh Ruadh stand. Oisín Gallen popped in and out with two first-half scores.

Louth, though, were never too far away and by the break were just two behind, 0-9 to 0-7, with reason for optimism, although perhaps lamenting a couple that got away with captain Mulroy kicking one right, then left, of the posts midway through the first half.

By and large, Donegal were the ones edging it, although Mulroy was assisted by Ciaran Keenan, Ryan Burns and Conor Grimes. Tom Jackson brought the sides’ level at 0-7 to 0-7, at a time when Donegal were down to 14 with Mac Ceallabhuí sin-binned.

Late scores from Shane O’Donnell, his second, and McBrearty’s fifth meant Donegal had that two-point advantage at half-time, although Louth were very much in the thick of things.

And when corner-back Donal McKenny managed a rare score those who made the journey might’ve thought a shock was on the cards. McBrearty managed to keep the scoreboard ticking for Donegal, with Grimes, Conor Early and Jackson on the mark for Louth. However, after the goal, Aaron Doherty, McBrearty and Gallen were all scorers to give Donegal a more comfortable look.

Donegal: Shaun Patton; Mark Curran, Ciaran Moore, Peadar Mogan; Ryan McHugh, Caolan McGonagle (0-1), Jeaic Mac Ceallabhuí (1-0); Ciaran Thompson, Michael Langan (0-1); Shane O’Donnell (0-2), Dáire Ó Baoill, Odhrán Doherty; Patrick McBrearty (0-8, 0-7f), Oisin Gallen (0-4), Jamie Brennan. Subs: Aaron Doherty (0-1) and Hugh McFadden for O Doherty and J Brennan (both 48); Luke McGlynn for O Baoill (59); Stephen McMenamin for Mac Ceallabhui (70); Domhnall Mac Giolla Bhride for McGonagle (70+3)

Louth: Nall McDonnell; Donal McKenny (0-1), Dermot Campbell, Peter Lynch; Leonard Grey, Anthony Williams, Conall McKeever; Conor Early (0-1), Tommy Durnin; Paul Mathews, Ciaran Keenan (0-1), Conor Grimes (0-2); Ryan Burns (0-2), Sam Mulroy (0-7, 0-5f, 1m), Tom Jackson. Subs: Liam Jackson (0-1) for Mathews (40); Kyle McElroy for Burns (54); Sean Marry and Niall Sharkey for T Jackson and Williams (both 65); Jay Hughes for C Keenan (70)

Referee: Paddy Neilan (Roscommon)