A Caolan McGonagle goal proved the decisive score for Donegal as they make it two wins out of two in Division 2 of the Allianz Football League on Saturday night with a 1-13 to 0-14 win against Meath in Ballybofey.
McGonagle’s goal came at a crucial stage of the second half when Declan Bonner’s side trailed their opponents by four points. But the goal gave Donegal renewed impetus and late points from Eoin McHugh and Jamie Brennan helped the Tir Chonnaill men maintain their 100 per cent start to the league.
The Ballybofey pitch had to pass numerous pitch inspections on Saturday as the freezing temperatures had left the fixture in some doubt. But referee Jerome Henry declared the surface playable shortly before tea-time and, to their credit, both teams served up a relatively open and enjoyable game of football.
The evening also remembered the four young Donegal men – Micheal Roarty, Shaun Harkin John Harley, and Daniel Scott were killed in a road traffic accident last weekend. As a mark of respect, Meath GAA offiicals presented four lit candles to Donegal officials on the pitch in a short ceremony before the throw-in.
Listen to the postmatch reactions of Donegal duo Eoin McHugh and Caolan Ward, as well as Meath manager Andy McEntee.
Kilcar’s Eoin McHugh was introduced as a second-half substitute, having recovered from a recent hamstring injury, and scored an important point in the closing stages.
Defender Caolan Ward reflected on the manner of Saturday night’s win – and the calibre of their opponents Meath.
Meath manager watched his Meath side lost to Tyrone by a single point in last year’s All-Ireland football qualifiers. Here, his team led for most of the game, yet still finished up on the wrong end of the final scoreline.