FL1: Donegal hold Mayo to book semi-final place

April 05, 2015

Donegal's Martin McElhinney and Donal Vaughan of Mayo.
©INPHO/Mike Shaughnessy.

This 1-9 to 0-12 draw with Mayo at Castlebar has earned Donegal a league semi-final date with Cork.

The Ulster champions led by the finest of margins at the break, 1-5 to 0-7, with Patrick McBrearty slotting the all-important goal in the 19th minute. That score made it 1-2 to 0-4 and the sides would share six more points before the short whistle.

Odhran MacNiallais (2) and McBrearty stretched the gap to four points by the 24th minute but the Connacht kingpins finished the half impressively with scores from Barry Moran, Donal Vaughan and Aidan O'Shea.

Jason Doherty (two frees), Moran and Kevin McLoughlin had registered the hosts' first four points of the day, while MacNiallais and Martin McElhinney got Rory Gallagher's men off to a flying start with two points inside the first 45 seconds!

Moran's third of the day levelled the scores quickly after the restart and Diarmuid O'Connor was on hand to give the home team the lead again. Colm McFadden equalised in the 54th minute but Mickey Conroy and McLoughlin replied before a McBrearty brace had the sides level again with eleven minutes to go.

Three minutes from time. Mayo moved back in front with a converted McLoughlin free but Stephen Griffin pointed the most dramatic of equalisers in the fourth minute of injury time to turn the whole Division One table on its head and assure his county of a tilt with the Rebels next weekend.

Mayo - K O'Malley; B Harrison, K Keane, K Higgins; L Keegan, C Boyle, D Vaughan (0-1); B Moran (0-3), S O'Shea; K McLoughlin (0-3, 1f), A O'Shea (0-1), J Doherty (0-2f); M Ronaldson, D Kirby, D O'Connor (0-1). Subs: M Conroy (0-1) for M Ronaldson, S Coen for B Harrison, A Moran for D Kirby, P Durcan for C Boyle, N Douglas for K McLoughlin, M Hall for D O'Connor (BC).

Donegal - M Boyle; E Doherty, N McGee, E McGee; P McGrath, K Lacey, F McGlynn; M McElhinney (0-1), C Toye; M O'Reilly, O MacNiallais (0-3), R McHugh; P McBrearty (1-3, 0-1f), H McFadden, C McFadden (0-1). Subs: C McGinley for C Toye, A Thompson for E Doherty, M McHugh for H McFadden (BC), S Griffin (0-1) for C McGinley.

Referee - D Coldrick.

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