Donegal 2-12 Sligo 0-16
22-year-old Lee Henderson scored 1-6 for the eventual winners in a game where Sligo looked in total control early on.
Donegal came into today’s relegation play-off with a depleted side – Kevin Campbell, Ciaran Matthewson, James Donnelly, Mickey McCann, Ciaran Dowds, and Enda McDermott were all unavailable.
However, they dug deepest when required to ensure Division 3A hurling for 2013.
Keith Raymond fired seven points for Sligo, including the bulk of their opening five points as his side romped into an early 0-5 to 0-0 lead.
Sligo held the lead at the interval, but a 15th minute Ronan McDermott goal and a brace of Danny Cullen points helped bring Donegal back into contention. There were just two points between the sides at the break on a 0-8 to 1-3 scoreline.
Henderson was in stunning form for Donegal on the restart as Ray Durack’s charges looked a far sharper outfit.
The Sean MacCumhaills clubman cut loose on countless occasions during the second half, and wrecked havoc in the Sligo defence.
A quartet of points helped level the tie at 1-9 to 0-12 and although Raymond put Sligo in front again, Donegal continued to bite at their heels.
It was Henderson who caused most of the damage, and he pounced on the ball in a crowded Sligo defence in the 60th minute for Donegal’s second goal.
The Tir Chonaill men never looked back after this and they ran out two-point winners in the end.
DONEGAL: P Burns; P Doherty, C McLaughlin, E Organ (0-1); B Harrigan, J McGee, C McDermott; J Boyle (0-1), P Sheridan; N Campbell (0-2), D Cullen (0-2), A McDermott; L Henderson (1-6, 0-3f), R McDermott (1-0), M McGee.
Subs used: M McGrath for McLaughlin (46 mins).
SLIGO: D Loughnane; D O’Brien, D Tobin, T Cawley; J Kenny, B Kenny, E McGowan; A Cawley (0-1), T Conneely (0-1); K Gilmartin (0-2), K Raymond (0-7, 0-7f), D Burke (0-1); G Waldron (0-1), M Burke (0-2), L Cadden.
Subs used: G Cadden (0-1, 0-1f) for G Waldron (60 mins).