All year the Donegal senior hurling team have impressed early on only to fade in the second period and so it proved in Crossmaglen. It could have been so different this time though had London not resurrected their chances and found their mojo 22 minutes into the game with their second goal. A disastrous start for Donegal with a Benny McCarry goal for London after 17 seconds was followed by some sparkling hurling from the lads in green and gold. After twenty minutes they were 1-7 to 1-1 ahead and looked a different class to the opposition. The goal, however, re-ignited London’s fire and while Donegal responded to the goal with an immediate point London were back in business with four unanswered scores to leave it level 2-5 to 1-8 at the break.
The second half started badly for Donegal as two early London points seen them start the half they ended the first and they led by six points by the end of the third quarter. Donegal were playing catchup from there and went down to 14 men when a harsh second yellow ended Mark Callaghan’s afternoon. Donegal battled to the end and twice got the margin back to four points but London saw it out and were worthy winners against a Donegal team that finished with 13 men.
Donegal: Paul Burns, Mark Callaghan, Niall Cleary, Conor Parke, Jack O’Loughlin, Sean McVeigh, Stephen Gillespie, Danny Cullen, Joe Boyle, Colm Flood, Ciaran Finn, Lee Henderson, Dylan Duffy, Gavin Browne, Colm Matthewson, Subs used: Kevin Kealy, Caolan McDermott, Ryan Hilferty, Conor O’Grady and PJ McCarron.
London: Padraig Buckley, Christopher McAlinden, Padraig Muldoon, Fergal Collins, Jesse Kennedy, Colin Nelson, Lee Murphy, Killian Burke, Cormac Thornton, Stephen Lohan, Mark O’Dowd, ShaneLawless, David Nolan, Benny McCarry, Aaron Sheehan. Subs used: Cillian McSweeney, Denis O’Regan, Damiel Glynn, Henry Vaughan and Oisin Royston