DERRY will be wondering what happened…
For long periods of their Allianz National League opener against Donegal in Ballybofey, Derry dominated – going five points clear at one stage.
But they ended up on the wrong side of a six point defeat after a second half collapse and a star show from Donegal’s Patrick McBrearty.
In a game played in difficult conditions on an icy cold evening at Mac Cumhaill Park, it was Brian McIver’s side who started the brighter.
Derry’s Mark Lynch was fantastic in the opening half and scored some sensational points; Benny Heron and Conor McAtamney also scoring.
Donegal were struggling to gain the upper hand in the middle sector of the pitch as Derry dominated.
But a brace of scores from Patrick McBrearty and Michael Murphy coupled with scores from Marty O’Reilly and Christy Toye ensured Derry were ahead by just three points at half-time.
HALF-TIME SCORE: Donegal 0-06 Derry 0-09
Martin McElhinney replaced Hugh McFadden and registered Donegal’s first score of the half shortly after his introduction.
McBrearty was absolutely outstanding for Donegal and scored another two points to leave the contest level at 0-11 to 0-11.
Donegal then had a glorious chance to go in the lead when they were awarded with a penalty but Michael Murphy saw his effort crash off the crossbar.
However, Odhran MacNiallais then scored a wonderful goal to put Donegal into the driving seat.
Donegal added further scores through Michael Murphy (2) Christy Toye and man-of-the-match Patrick McBrearty as Derry struggled.
McBrearty was unplayable at times. Donegal were simply outstanding in the second-half and Derry appeared to have forgotten all their good work in the first.
FINAL SCORE: Donegal 1-15 Derry 0-12
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