Comprised of four groups of four, with each team facing one another once before straight knockouts in the quarter-finals, the championship in the north-west was delayed after county clubs voted in favour of giving Donegal boss Jim McGuinness a clear run at the Ulster and All-Ireland championships.
Kilcar won a tricky encounter with Michael Murphy and Neil Gallagher’s Glenswilly 0-9 to 0-6, with Patrick McBrearty, as well as Ryan and Mark McHugh, playing their part in the win.
Their next opponents will be St Michael’s, who brushed aside Bundoran 4-10 to 0-6 in Dunfanaghy, with Colm McFadden grabbing 2-5 and Christy Toye hitting 1-3.
Thirteen months ago, St Eunan’s of Letterkenny were eliminated at the quarter-final stage by surprise packages Malin. However, yesterday at Connolly Park, the team managed by Maxi Curran gained revenge in a 1-17 to 2-6 win, with Rory Kavanagh the St Eunan’s goalscorer and Conall Dunne pointing seven times for the 2012 champions.
In that same group, Naomh Conaill of Glenties made a winning start against senior newcomers Naomh Muire in Annagry. Dermot Molloy scored five points in the 0-10 to 0-8 win on Saturday.
Kevin Cassidy, Gaoth Dobhair player-manager, scored a last-minute point to edge his team in front at Killybegs but had to be content with a share of the spoils as Brendan McGuire levelled for the hosts (1-5 apiece). Dungloe, inspired by Adrian Hanlon and Adrian Sweeney, saw off Termon 0-11 to 0-8.
Ardara and Four Masters couldn’t be separated in their clash as the sides drew 0-9 to 0-9, and Sean MacCumhaill’s of Ballybofey got a decent start to their campaign on Saturday with a 0-13 to 0-8 win at Glenfin.
Burt won the Donegal SHC for the fourth year in succession with a comfortable 15-point win over Sean MacCumhaill’s of Ballybofey in Letterkenny on Saturday (6-9 to 1-9).