The Red Hands were in a comfortable position at the break, leading 2-11 to 0-5 with Sean Óg Grogan and Shea McKeever scoring goals. Sligo came into it in the second half with Keith Raymond and Damien Burke finding the net but Rory O’Neill’s goal sealed the home win.
Ray Durack’s spell in charge of the Donegal hurlers got off to a poor start when his side relinquished an early six-point advantage against Monaghan in Clones to go down 1-18 to 1-11.
The Lory Meagher winners started well and were 1-3 to 0-0 in front by the quarter-hour with Lee Henderson grabbing the goal.
However, that seemed to kickstart the hosts who dominated from then on, hitting 1-11 without reply to fashion a 1-11 to 1-3 interval lead.
Michael McHugh, typically, was in fine shooting form, registering eight frees over the course of the game. Monaghan’s goal came when Sean Leonard tucked home a rebound after Donegal keeper Paul Burns saved Michael Lennon’s initial effort.
The second half was a tit-for-tat affair with McHugh keeping the home side ticking over. Niall Campbell, with seven points, six from frees, was Donegal’s top scorer.
Meanwhile, at Darver, Louth went down 1-13 to 0-12 against Fingal. Louth led by a point, 0-6 to 0-5, at half-time but Fingal, who defeated the same opponents last month to win the Kehoe Shield, turned things around in the second period.