Rory Gallagher’s Donegal era starts with a victory

Donegal 2-16 Queen’s 1-08: Rory Gallagher posted his first win as Donegal manager as his side comfortably overcame Queen’s University Belfast in miserable conditions in Ballybofey yesterday.

The Belleek native will now lead Donegal into battle with his native Fermanagh, on Wednesday night with a place in the semi-finals of the Dr McKenna Cup up for grabs.

Odhran MacNiallias was Donegal’s star turn as he kicked six points, while Martin O’Reilly and Eamonn Ward were the goalscorers.

It was a notable achievement for full-back Ward, who is from Clontibret, Co Monaghan, and was making his home debut for Donegal at the age of 33.

That made the half-time score 2-7 to 1-3 for Donegal, with Ciarán O’Hanlon firing in the Queen’s goal on 12 minutes.

O’Reilly planted into Michael Cunningham’s top-corner after seven minutes when he was set up by Daniel McLaughlin and then, right on the interval, Ward toe-poked past the Queen’s goalkeeper following good approach play from Martin McElhinney.

Scorers for Donegal: O MacNiallais 0-6 (1f, 1 ‘45), M O’Reilly 1-2 (1f), E Ward 1-0, C Toye 0-2, D McLaughlin, H McFadden, C McGinley, E McHugh, D Molloy (f), G McFadden 0-1 each

Scorers for Queen’s: T Donnelly 0-4 (1f), C O’Hanlon 1-0, R Wells, D Hughes, R Murray, C Hamill 0-1 each

DONEGAL: M Boyle; E Ward, Eamonn Doherty, P McGrath; C McGinley, D Walsh, F McGlynn; M McElhinney, C Toye; C Gallagher, O MacNiallais, E McHugh; D McLaughlin, H McFadden, M O’Reilly.

Subs: G McFadden (0-1) for Gallagher (h-t), Eunan Doherty for Walsh (50), S Hensey for Ward (54), W Gillespie for McHugh (55), Dermot Molloy (0-1, 1f) for MacNiallais (58),

QUEEN’S: M Cunningham; B Burns, G McCabe, G McGovern; N Delargy, C Hamill, R Wells; C O’Hanlon, C Cullen; R Murray, T Donnelly, M Monan; D Hughes, S Fox, S Warnock.

Subs: M Jordan for O’Hanlon (h-t), D Higgins for Hamill (45), B McCann for Fox (48), M Donaghy for Monan (50), C McCormick for Warnock (52).

Referee: D Mullan (Derry).

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