Down lose by 17 points to Donegal in league opener

Down lose by 17 points to Donegal in league opener

Down 0-7 Donegal 3-15

Donegal have hammered Down in their National Football League Division 1 opener with a 17-point win in Newry tonight.

While Michael Murphy’s dead ball striking provided Donegal with eight points, young Kilcar duo Ryan McHugh and Patrick McBrearty fired in the second-half goals, two of which were set up by newcomer Ciaran Thompson.

His impressive debut, allied to a good cameo later by Stephen McBrearty, pleased Donegal's manager, Rory Gallagher, who is well aware he needs to inject fresh legs into his set-up.

At the other end of the age spectrum, Neil Gallagher came on while Rory Kavanagh also got 10 minutes in his first appearance since the 2014 All-Ireland final.

Donegal had the game won by half time, leading 0-9 to 0-3 at the interval thanks to six placed balls from Murphy, his sideline point from the 13m line a particular highlight.

Down only managed two points from play in a dismal day for them .

Donal O’Hare’s poorly struck penalty in the 19th minute, at a stage when they trailed 0-4 to 0-2, was easily pushed out by new Donegal ‘keeper Peter Boyle and Down’s challenge withered.

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