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Thursday 18 October 2018

Donegal's Rossie rout sets up perfect finale in Ballybofey

Roscommon 0-13 Donegal 0-20 - SFC Super 8s Grp 2

SLICK TURN: Donegal’s Michael Murphy gets away from Roscommon’s Niall McInerney at Dr Hyde Park, Roscommon on Saturday. Photo: Sportsfile
SLICK TURN: Donegal’s Michael Murphy gets away from Roscommon’s Niall McInerney at Dr Hyde Park, Roscommon on Saturday. Photo: Sportsfile

Abba wrote a lot of songs about what is going to happen in Ballybofey on Sunday week as a result of Donegal's 0-20 to 0-13 win over Roscommon in the Super 8s at Hyde Park on Saturday night.

'The Winner Takes It All' is one of them for that is how it will be when Donegal host Tyrone in the third series of matches. The winner goes into the All-Ireland semi-final, the loser, well, they will have met their Waterloo.

It's the match the GAA craved when they set up the Super 8s, a showdown played at a tight venue, taking the excitement of the Championship to one of the smaller grounds around the country.

Beautifully

Donegal haven't lost a Championship match at home since Down beat them in 2010, a draw will do Tyrone as they have the much better score difference. It couldn't be set up more beautifully.

If the price that has to be paid for that is the dead rubber between Dublin and Roscommon then what harm, for Donegal v Tyrone is now pure box office.

Donegal are in that situation thanks too a wonderful 70 minutes here from Michael Murphy who was Man of the Match by a mile as he helped himself to nine points in all, with the home defence utterly incapable of closing him down.

He had help from the likes of Frank McGlynn and Odhrán Mac Niallais, who were superb for the Ulster champions. But a grim note for Donegal was the first-half departure of Eoghan Bán Gallagher holding onto his elbow in a manner that suggested he would not be playing on Sunday week.

Roscommon, after a bright start that saw them lead 0-4 to 0-2, were overpowered from there on. They found Donegal's defence impenetrable and could not cope with Murphy and MacNiallais as they kicked fine points with the ease that marks out top players.

For Roscommon this was a harsh lesson in what awaits them in Division One next spring. and manager Kevin McStay may have quite a while to think about that as he faces a disciplinary case for his confrontation with linesman Niall Cullen just before half-time.

Scorers - Roscommon: C Murtagh (0-3), D Murtagh (0-3), D Smith (0-2), B Stack (0-2), T O'Rourke (0-1), C Compton (0-1), E Smith (0-1), Donegal: M Murphy (0-9), O Mac Niallais (0-4), C Thompson (0-2), R McHugh (0-1), L McLoone (0-1), M Langan (0-1), J Brennan (0-1), M Reilly (0-1).

Roscommon: C Lavin; D Murray, N McInerney, S McDermott; J McManus, Fintan Cregg, C Devaney; T O'Rourke, C Compton; C Murtagh, N Kilroy, E Smith; D Murtagh, B Stack, C Cregg. Subs: C Lennon for Compton (ht), D Smith for C Cregg (45mins) F Cregg for McDermott (47mins) (stet), P Kelly for Stack (56mins), I Kilbride for F Cregg (58mins) S Killoran for Kilroy (60 mins)

Donegal: S Patton; P McGrath, S McBrearty, E Gallagher; F McGlynn, P Brennan, R McHugh; H McFadden, L McLoone; E Doherty, M Langan, C Thompson; O Mac Niallias, M Murphy, J Brennan. Subs: N McGee for Gallagher (18mins), N O'Donnell for J Brennan (52mins), A Thompson for McGlynns (54mins), D O'Baoill for P Brennan (59mins), M Reilly for Langan (68mins)

Referee: C Branagan (Down)

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