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2024 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship – Donegal 2-23 Clare 0-5

June 15 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Donegal defeated Clare by 2-23 to 0-5 in Round 3 of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship on Saturday June 15th at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park, Castlebar.

All-Ireland SFC: Donegal top group

Donegal 2-23 Clare 0-5

Report By Chris McNulty at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park for

Donegal had too much gas for Clare in Castlebar and are on their way to the All-Ireland quarter-finals.

With Tyrone defeating Cork, this win for Donegal sees Jim McGuinness’s men heading straight to the last eight.

Ryan McHugh and Oisin Gallen scored goals early in each half as Donegal made light of the Banner.

Donegal supporters made up the vast percentage of the 5,137 inside MacHale Park and they had little sweat on their brows as they headed for home.

Clare’s Emmet McMahon opened the scoring with a second-minute free, but the Munster men didn’t score again until the 41st minute – by which time Donegal were 2-13 to 0-1 in front.

As they had done in the first half, Donegal goaled five minutes into the second.

Gallen was sent on his way by Michael Langan and the Sean MacCumhaills held off the attention of Clare goalkeeper Tristan O’Callaghan to net.

Conor O’Donnell made his return for Donegal as a half-time replacement, the Carndonagh man playing for the first time since this weekend 12 months ago. O’Donnell was plagued by a serious hamstring injury, but his return is certainly timely.

O’Donnell fired over a 49th minute point that was greeted by a warm applause by the Donegal support, who had just learned of a goal for Tyrone’s Ben Cullen.

Donegal were sent on their way by McHugh’s early major. Five minutes in, the Kilcar man took an offload from Gallen and thumped high to the top corner past O’Callaghan, a late replacement for Stephen Ryan, who picked up an injury in the warm-up. As McHugh’s arrow flew to the net, the tale of the tape, even at such an early juncture, seemed rather inevitable.

Donegal were in behind again when Patrick McBrearty fed Ciaran Thompson two minutes later, but his effort was blocked down.

Corner back Mark Curran curled over his first Senior Championship point in the 15th minute to open up a six-point (1-4 to 0-1) lead.

Curran was back in the Donegal XV again with McGuinness also opting for Odhran Doherty from the off. A hamstring injury kept Jason McGee to a watching brief while Daire O Baoill was among the substitutes.

The appointment of Tralee native Mark Fitzgerald as Clare’s new manager last September, taking over after ten years of Colm Collins’ charge, heralded a new dawn and a voyage to the Munster final represented a fine start to his tenure.

While not an impossibility, defeats by Cork and Tyrone left their hopes of sneaking into third spot something of an uphill battle that seemed ‘an uphill battle’, put mildly.

While Emmet McMahon opened the scoring, with a stylish long-range free in the second minute, Clare were rarely able to trouble Donegal.

Clare did get in for a goal chance midway through the first half, Aaron Griffin’s pass opening the possibilities, but goalkeeper Shaun Patton saved from Gavin Murray at the expense of a ’45.

A 3-9 to 0-16 defeat by Cork at Pairc Ui Rinn 14 days earlier took the control out of Donegal’s hands as they made their way down the N15. The trio of Cork goals handed McGuinness’s men a first defeat in 13 outings in 2024 – leaving them needed the Tyrone favour to top the group.

Donegal eased through the scores with Gallen and McBrearty each hitting a brace and McHugh tucking over.

When O’Callaghan popped a kick-out into McBrearty’s hands after Gallen nailed a ’45 in the 24th minute, Clare fans feared the worst. McBrearty teed up Ciaran Thompson who was content with a point in the circumstances.

In the final minute of the first half, McHugh polished off an excellent team move from Donegal to give them a 1-11 to 0-1 advantage.

O Baoill, also sent in as a half-time substitute, wasted no time in getting the scoreboard operator into action after the refreshments.

When Gallen raised the green flag, it might’ve been a cue for Donegal to lift the foot off the accelerator.

Not so. Donegal reeled off six-in-a-row to complete the rout with 11 different players on the scoresheet.

Scorers for Donegal: Oisin Gallen 1-4 (2 45s), Ryan McHugh 1-4, Patrick McBrearty 0-5 (1f), Conor O’Donnell, Ciaran Thompson 0-2 each, Peadar Mogan, Mark Curran, Ciaran Moore, Daire O Baoill, Michael Langan, Shane O’Donnell 0-1 each.

Scorers for Clare: Emmet McMahon 0-4 (3fs), Diarmuid O’Donnell 0-1 (f).

Donegal: Shaun Patton; Mark Curran, Brendan McCole, Eoghan Ban Gallagher; Ryan McHugh, Caolan McGonagle, Peadar Mogan; Ciaran Moore, Michael Langan; Shane O’Donnell, Ciaran Thompson, Odhran Doherty; Patrick McBrearty, Oisin Gallen, Niall O’Donnell.
Subs: Conor O’Donnell for Curran (HT), Daire O Baoill for Doherty (HT), Stephen McMenamin for Gallagher (42), Hugh McFadden for Langan (50), Kevin McGettigan for Mogan (57).

Clare: Tristan O’Callaghan; Manus Doherty, Cillian Brennan, Ronan Lanigan; Alan Sweeney, Cillian Rouine, Ikem Ugweru; Brian McNamara, Micheal Garry; Daniel Walsh, Dermot Coughlan, Gavin Murray; Ciaran Downes, Aaron Griffin, Emmet McMahon.
Subs: Diarmuid O’Donnell for Downes (HT), Darren Nagle for Murray (41), James Curran for Walsh (49), Shane Griffin for A.Griffin (54), Cian Burke for Ugweru (65).

Referee: Derek O’Mahoney (Tipperary).

Team News

CLARE: Stephen Ryan; Manus Doherty, Cillian Brennan, Ronan Lanigan; Alan Sweeney, Cillian Rouine, Ikem Ugweru; Brian McNamara, Michéal Garry; Daniel Walsh, Dermot Coughlan, Gavin Murray; Ciarán Downes, Aaron Griffin, Emmet McMahon.
Subs: Tristan O Callaghan, Cormac Murray, Darren Nagle, Jamie Stack, Diarmuid O’Donnell, Mark McInerney, Joe McGann, Éinne O Connor, Cian Burke, Shane Griffin, James Curran.

DONEGAL: Shaun Patton; Mark Curran, Brendan McCole, Eoghan Bán Gallagher; Ryan McHugh, Caolan McGonagle, Peadar Mogan; Ciaran Moore, Michael Langan; Shane O Donnell, Ciaran Thompson, Daire Ó Baoill; Patrick McBrearty, Oisin Gallen, Niall O Donnell.
Subs: Daithí MacRoibeard, Kevin McGettigan, Stephen McMenamin, Odhran Doherty, Conor O’Donnell, Jeaic MacCeallbhuí, Hugh McFadden, Aaron Doherty, Jamie Brennan, Domhnall MacGiolla Bhride, Cathal MacAonghása.


June 15
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm



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