SETANTA defeated old rivals Seán MacCumhaills on Friday evening to get the defence of their Donegal SHC title off to a winning start.
Sean MacCumhaills 0-14 Setanta 1-24
A Ciaran Matthewson inspired performance wasn’t enough for MacCumhaills as the reigning champions got their campaign off with a 13-point win.
Matthewson, who tallied 0-11 of his side’s scores opened the account but Setanta goaled soon after when Oisin Marley cut in from the right to net.
Marley hit 1-5 for the winners over the evening.
Scores by Declan Coulter, Marley, Bernard Lafferty and Gerard Gilmore saw Setanta surge ahead but two Matthewson frees had a goal between the at the water break.
Five Setanta points extended the lead, but MacCumhaills hopes were raised when a long range attempt in, which seemed to be drifting over for a point, came off the post. The Setanta rearguard was momentarily caught out, but Dean Hannigan’s deft touch was just wide.
Marley and Coulter pointed to give Setanta a seven-point lead at half-time.
Matthewson kept the hosts in touch, but MacCumhaills found scoring chances hard to come by in the second half – a problem the visitors did not have.
Further points from Gilmore, Marley, Campbell and Kee had Setanta in a 10-point lead.
MacCumhaills tried to claw back with points from Hannigan and Matthewson – whose brilliant performance on the night deserved a better outcome – but it was clear that Setanta were operating at a higher level and they rattled over five unanswered scores to end the game.
Sean MacCumhaills: Del Laverty; Christopher Gallagher, John Chambers, Eoghan Wright; Bernard McMenamin, Conor Griffin, Orin McDermott; Lee Henderson, Pete Byrne; Andrew Barrons, Dean O’Donnell (0-1), Aaron Toner; Fintan Griffin (0-1), Ciaran Matthewson (0-11, 6f, 1’65), Dean Hannigan (0-1). Sub: Aurielo Fries for Chambers.
Setanta: Ciaran Bellew; Mark Callaghan, Michael Donoghue, Denim Rowan; Justin McBride (0-1), Danny Cullen (0-1), Niall Cleary (0-2); Richard Kee (0-1), Conor McGettigan (0-1); Oisin Marley (1-3), Declan Coulter (0-5, 3f), Bernard Lafferty (0-4); Ruairi Campbell (0-1), Josh McGee-Cronnolly (0-1), Gerard Gilmore (0.3). Sub: Marc Devine (0-1) for McGee-Cronnolly
Referee: James Connors (St. Eunans)Tags: