Dominant win for Donegal over Derry in Conor McGurk Cup opener

By Charlie Collins

Donegal 4-25 v 1-08 Derry

Donegal began their defense of the Conor McGurk Cup with this comfortable win against Derry at the GAA Centre in Convoy. Team Manager Mickey McCann had a strong squad on duty with a number of new faces in the starting lineup and on the bench. There was also a welcomed return of former captain Sean McVeigh who took a year out last season.

As well as winning this competition Donegal also reached both the Division 2B League and Nicky Rackard Cup finals, losing both by small margins to Meath and Wicklow respectively.

Conor Gartland, Gerry Gilmore, Ruairi Campbell and Liam McKinney points gave Donegal a good start but a Conor Murtagh goal brought Derry to within a point after six minutes of play. Jack O Loughlin and Brian McIntyre both converted good scores from play Donegal were in control but shot a number of wides and dropped a number of shots short.

Brian McIntyre added his second from play and Gerry Gilmore converted a 65 to give Donegal a lead of 0-08 to 1-00 after 25 minutes. Gilmore added two more frees and Liam McKinney his second with a fine long range effort, 0-11 to 1-00.

Eamonn Cassidy’s free gave Derry their first point from a free but a minute later Peter Kelly did Brillant work to set up Ruairi Campbell who drilled the ball to the net and Sean McVeigh had the final word of the first-half with a nicely clipped point to leave Donegal well in control, 1-12 to 1-01 ahead at the break.

Donegal got off to a fast start to the second-half with three Gerry Gilmore points and a Conor Gartland goal, 2-15 to 1-01. Eamonn Cassidy converted a free for Derry but points from Gartland, Campbell, McKinney and another from Gilmore, his seventh made it 2-19 to 1-02.

Eunan Boylan, Aimon Duffin, and Cassidy added Derry points but Liam McKinney kept the scoreline moving with two frees and a 65, 2-22 to 1-05.

Josh Connolly McGee burst through for a third Donegal goal and Oisín Marley added a fourth to make the final score 4-25 to 1-08.

Donegal will meet Fermanagh in the semi-final on Tuesday evening 9th January.

Donegal: Luke White, Ciaran Curran, Ciaran Bradley, Gavin Browne, Jack O’Loughlin (0-01), Stephen Gillespie, Conor O’Grady, Brian MacIntyre (0-03), Ryan Hilferty, Sean McVeigh (0-01), Conor Gartland (1-03), Liam McKinney (0-06), Peter Kelly, Gerard Gilmore (0-07), Ruairi Campbell (1-02). Subs used: Josh McGee Connolly (1-00), Oisín Kelly, Sean Ward (0-01), Corma Finn (0-01), Conor Griffen, Oisín Marley (1-00), James Monagle.

Derry: Aodan McCallion, Jamie Lee McGlade, Darragh Young, Odhran Glenaghan, Andy McBride, Aimon Duffin (0-02), Ben Kearney, Ben Kealey, Eunan Boylan (0-01), Niall Brolly, Eamonn Cassidy (0-05), Conan Bradley, James McDaid, Ryan McAdams, Conor Murtagh (1-00).

Referee: Barry Winters (Tyrone).

Dominant win for Donegal over Derry in Conor McGurk Cup opener was last modified: January 6th, 2024 by Staff Writer