In a sunny O’Donnell Park it was a bright start for the Donegal hurlers as a Lee Henderson goal in the fifth minute started 20 minutes of domination and the home side were 1-5 to 0-1 ahead before Wicklow registered their second point, which was quickly countered by another from Lee Henderson, who had scored all of Donegal’s 1-6. Then came the sucker punch as Gary Hughes netted for Wicklow and, re-invigorated, the Garden County closed out the half well to leave it 1-7 to 1-5 at the break, a score which flattered Wicklow.
Within eight minutes of the re-start the game was turned on its head as 2-2 from Gary Hughes helped Wicklow into a 3-8 to 1-8 lead. Gavin Brown, Ciaran Matthewson and Sean McVeigh steadied the ship again for Donegal with the next two points but Wicklow hit three of their own but Donegal didn’t flag with Sean McVeigh Ciaran Matthewson and Jack O’Loughlin notching up further scores to narrow the gap to two points 3-11 to 1-15 approaching the final whistle. As in the first half, the visitors finished strongest – Wicklow hero Gary Hughes notched his fourth goal and another point for good measure – lán ama, Dún na nGall 1-15 Cill Mhantáin 4-12.
(Thanks to Cathal Doherty for the words and Geraldine Diver for the pictures)