Sensational goal earns Mayo a draw in Donegal
A sensational goal by substitute James Durcan in the dying seconds of the game earned Mayo a share of the spoils against Donegal in their Allianz National Football League Division One opener this evening.
The final score was Donegal 0-19, Mayo 2-13 in front of a crowd of almost 9,000 in Páirc Mhic Cumhaill, Ballybofey.
Durcan's goal meant Mayo salvaged something from a contest in which they played second fiddle to the hosts for large periods. He struck it into the top right corner from a good 20 metres out with the last kick in anger of a scrappy yet entertaining game.
Donegal, inspired by Michael Murphy, were ahead for most of this contest but Mayo clung on and clung on until the very last seconds.
Still, it needed something truly special to get them a result – and Durcan duly delivered.
Mayo had a decent start and a fine goal by James Carr, who went off injured at half-time, had them two points ahead – 1-3 to 0-4 – by the midway stage of the first half.
Despite missing a number of scoring chances, Donegal pulled ahead with a succession of scores in the second quarter as Murphy and Ciaran Thompson punished indiscretions. The home side were 0-9 to 1-4 ahead by the break.
While Mayo closed to within a point of Donegal at one stage of the second half, courtesy of James Durcan's first intervention after being introduced, the home side kept pulling just that bit clear.
The three-point cushion they enjoyed by the sixth minute of injury time looked sufficient but super-sub Durcan ensured Mayo got something out of their trip to Ballybofey to kick-start the defence of their league title.
Mayo: David Clarke, Oisin Mullin, Brendan Harrison, Colm Boyle, Padraig O'Hora, Stephen Coen, Patrick Durcan, Tom Parsons, Jordan Flynn, Bryan Walsh, Diarmuid O'Connor, Fergal Boland, Ryan O'Donoghue, Brian Reape, James Carr.
Subs used: Tommy Conroy, Aidan O'Shea, Kevin McLoughlin, Keith Higgins, James Durcan.
Donegal: Shaun Patton, Caolan Ward, Neil McGee, Eoghan Bán Gallagher, Odhrán McFadden Ferry, Conor O'Donnell, Paul Brennan, Caolan McGonagle, Michael Langan, Eoin McHugh, Ryan McHugh, Jamie Brennan, Ciaran Thompson, Michael Murphy, Peadar Mogan.
Subs used: Hugh McFadden, Brendan McCole, Andrew McClean, Jack McKelvey, Conor Morrison.
Ref: David Coldrick.