HURLING

Donegal have too much for Louth's hurlers

Donegal 2-23 Louth 1-13

Gavin McLaughlin

Reporter:

Gavin McLaughlin

Donegal have too much for Louth's hurlers

Louth’s Allianz National Hurling League Division 3A season got off to a disappointing start as they slumped to a 13-point defeat against Donegal at O’Donnell Park on Sunday afternoon.

The hosts may have been relegated from Division 2B last year but their experience of operating at the higher grade shone through by the time referee Aidan Ferguson brought proceedings to a halt.

Donegal were also helped by the addition of players from outside of the county with former Armagh All Star Declan Coulter ending the game with five points to his name while former Tipperary intermediate player Davin Flynn posted four.

Louth were on the back foot right from the off and first half goals from Cathal Doherty and Kevin Campbell had Donegal in front, 2-6 to 0-11 at half-time.

Liam Dwan, with five points, and Diarmuid Murphy with four, carried the Wee County’s big scoring threat in the opening period.

Philip O’Brien and Ken McKenna’s side briefly hit the front, 1-11 to 2-7, for a short period at the start of the second half when Seaghan Connolly struck for their goal eight minutes into the new half.

And they made a game of it for the next 10 minutes as they twice edged back in front after Donegal had drawn level.

However, Murphy’s point that tied up the game at the start of the fourth quarter on 2-10 to 1-13 heralded the start of a Donegal onslaught that saw the locals reel off seven unanswered points in the space of nine minutes.

That gave them a commanding 2-17 to 1-13 lead and Donegal hit six more in the closing stages to run out convincing winners.

DONEGAL: Paul Burns; Dara Grant, Jamsie Donnelly, Padraig Doherty; Joe Boyle, Jack O’Loughlin, Niall Cleary; Danny Cullen (0-2), Richie Kee (0-1); Enda McDermott (0-2), Davin Flynn (0-4), Lee Henderson (0-8, 7f); Cathal Doherty (1-0), Kevin Campbell (1-1), Declan Coulter (0-5). Subs: Colm Melaugh for E McDermott, 54 mins; Aidan Stokes for D Grant, 59 mins; Paul Nelson for C Doherty, 71 mins; Ciaran Rami for D Flynn, 71 mins.  

LOUTH: Shane Nolan; Brian Minogue, Roger Maher, Ricky McKeown; David Stephenson, Paddy McCormack, Donal Ryan; Andrew McCrave, Shane Callan; Gavin Kerrigan, Liam Dwan (0-5, 4f), Paddy Lynch; Gerard Smyth (0-1), Seaghan Connelly (1-0), Diarmuid Murphy (0-6, 4F). Subs; Darren Hanrahan (0-1) for G Kerrigan, 29 mins; Stephen Kettle for G Smyth, 47 mins; Darren O’Donnell for P Lynch, 67 mins.

REFEREE: Aidan Ferguson (Fermanagh).