Donegal did a demolition job on the Shannon Blues with a surprisingly one sided victory. Having been beaten by Wolfe Tones the previous week, and facing one of the stronger teams in Boston this year, Donegal made amends in style with a thumping win.
At the end of the first half Donegal held a 1-8 to 1-4 advantage. The Blues rode a superbly taken goal by Paul O'Connor well into the game. O'Connor superbly finished a move involving David Clifford and Sean O'Connor and followed it up with three points to Donegal's one. With the Blues ahead by the goal Donegal began to assert themselves on the game.
The skillful forward line containing Steven Griffin, Daniel; McLaughlin, and Ryan Murray clicked. The Blues midfield was neutralized. Donegal battled for every ball afforded little room to the Blues to operate. The northerners looked dangerous with each attack. After a Griffin free closed the gap to two points, an expertly struck Griffin penalty put Donegal ahead. Finishing the half with three unanswered points had Donegal in a four point lead at the break.
Following the restart Donegal put the Blues away. Continuing where they ended the first, the northerners played with urgency and purpose. An early goal rattled the Blues. Daniel McLaughlin made a hard run down the wing and his ball across the face of goal was punching in by Griffin. Donegal's lead was now eight points. It became 14 after a flurry pf three points was capped off by a third goal, this time Sean Boyle was on hand to finsih it off.
The Blues tried to salvage something late in the game, but the horse was already out of the barn. Substitute Shane Kavanagh netted for the Blues, but Donegal were rampant and the scores seemed to come almost at will. The result meant three teams were tied at the top of the table.
Blues: C. Wallace, S. Kelly, C. Long, T. Wallace, D. McElligott, S. Moriarty, J. Walsh, A. Donovan, D. Clifford, D. Treacy, S. O'Connor, N. Murphy, P. O'Connor. Donegal: E. McCarney, M. Canney, J. O'Connor, S. Doherty, G. Gallagher, C. Healy, M. Smyth, C. Thompson, S. Boyle, G. Clancy, R. Murray, D. McLaughlin, S. Griffin.
Wolfe Tones and Kerry battled it out for fifth and sixth place in the final game of the day on Sunday. With the game tied mid-way through the second half the Tones stepped up the pace to pull away and secure the points. The result means that the Tones meet the Connemara Gaels next week's quarter final, while Kerry will meet Donegal.
It was an evenly contested first half at the end of which the Tones held a 2 point lead. A Lee Carr goal early in the half set the Tones up. Kerry responded with two Niall Sheehy points. The Tones' Luke Flynn in the middle of the field caused all sorts of problems Kerry. Speed was also a key as Darragh McVeety and Mike O'Brien opened up space at times, and points were converted by Marty Farrell.
In the second half it was Kerry who netted early. Robbie Croft put the ball into the net on the third attempt after the first two were blocked. The score leveled the game. Glenn had pointed for Kerry and Glen O'Connell and McVeety for the Tones. The game was finely balanced at that point with neither side looking like they had a clear advantage.
Eventually the Tones made the breakthrough with a goal from Marty Farrell. With McVeety opening up the space, the ball went to Farrell who was all alone in front of goal and blasted into the roof of the net. With Kerry now very much on the back foot a third goal was converted by Gary Brilly. Again, the Kerry defence was opened up and Brilly finished well from an angle. A cleverly taken Croft penalty ended the game for Kerry. Next week sees the kingdom face a tough opponent in Donegal, and the Tones will meet the Gaels in the quarter finals.
Tones: C. Hynes, K. Clarke, D. McConnon, M. O'Brien, C. Cleere, G. O'Connell, L. Flynn, S. Higgins, D. McVeety, G. Brilly, L. Carr, D. McCabe, M. Farrell. Kerry: L. Stacey, M. Godley, A. Fitzgerald, J. O'Shea, S. Briggs, C. O'Muircheartaigh, D. Foley, M. Condron, O. McGreevy, N. Sheehy, S. Lucey, R. Croft, G. Glenn.