Fingal 4-17 Donegal 1-14.
Fingal Hurlers bounced back from their defeat to Wicklow in the previous round with an impressive victory over Donegal in sunny Swords on Sunday. In doing so they inflicted on Donegal their first defeat of NHL 2010. Having struggled to keep the scoreboard operator busy last week the Fingal lads hid a rich vein of form, hitting a total of 4 -12 from play and spreading the scoring honours among eight players.
From the starting whistle there was clear evidence of an increase in intensity and sharpness to the Fingal play. Within the first two minutes Peter Daly was denied a goal by brave Donegal goalkeeper Paul O’Brien who smothered Daly’s shot after he got inside the Ulstermens last line of defence. This was a portent of things to come as Daly finished with a tally of 2-3, and was also hauled down for a first half penalty.
Fingal had gone into a four points to two lead when Daly lost his marker again in the 14th minute before being hauled down inside the 13m line. Martin Ormondes penalty was well saved by O’Brien but the inrushing Paul McAllister struck an unstoppable rebound to the net to open up a five point lead. Whilst Donegal marksman Niall Campbell landed the next three points Fingal raised their game again and picked off a string of very good points from play to reach the break 1-11 to 0-7 ahead. The pick of these points being a wonder score from over 90m from wing back Michael Cussen.
Donegal stung by the Fingal scoring spree took their time reappearing for the second period and looked intent on laying down a marker early in the half but the wind was taken from their sails when Daly caught a great ball from wing forward Colm Foley and blasted to the net on the 38th minute. Fingal’s third quarter effort ended the game as a contest as they added another Daly goal and points from Foley. Ormonde and Cian O’Mahony.
The only downside on the day was a 10 minute spell from the three quarter mark when they allowed their opponents space to create a number of scoring opportunities and reduce to lead to 8 points with five minutes remaining, Donegals goal coming from an uncharacteristic error from goal keeper Willie Burke. Fingal regrouped and added a fourth goal from substitute Emmet McCabe when he finished expertly to the net following a great run from just inside the 45m line.
The final scoreline did not flatter the Fingal team on the day, who now travel to Athleague to take on Roscommon next Sunday. With Roscommon going down to a surprise defeat to Louth yesterday it is all to play for in this division now with four teams on four points and Fingal just ahead on scoring difference.
Scorers; Peter Daly 2-3, Martin Ormonde 0-7(0-3f,0-1’65), Paul McAllister 1-1, Emmet McCabe 1-0, Ross McGarry, Cian O’Mahony 0-2 each, Michael Cussen, Colm Foley 0-1 each.
|Brian||Mc Carthy||Naomh Mearnog|
Replacements: Dara de Burca for Coyne, Emmet McCabe for McAllister, Eoin Cullen for Vaughan, John M Sheridan for McCarthy and Matthew Lambe for Ormonde.