Hurling & Camogie

Donegal crush Monaghan to top Nickey Rackard standings

The Tír Chonaill side have three wins from three games

Mickey McCann's Donegal sit top of the Nickey Rackard table after a third successive win Picture: Margaret McLaughlin (MARGARET McLAUGHLIN PICTURES / C)

Nickey Rackard Cup round three

Armagh 0-20 Roscommon 0-21

Donegal 4-27 Monaghan 0-15

Louth 0-17 Mayo 3-22

DONEGAL had no difficulty in disposing of a Monaghan in O’Donnell Park on Saturday, seeing off the Farneymen 4-27 to 0-15.

Liam McKinney got Donegal’s opening goal as they cantered to a half-time lead of 1-14 to 0-7 against last year’s Lory Meagher Cup winners.

Gerry Gilmore was one of six other Donegal players to split the posts in a most one-sided opening half.

And two second-half goals from the powerful Oisin Grant and a cheeky free from Gilmore book-ended the easiest of victories.

Clare native Niall Arthur supplied the bulk of Monaghan’s scores from frees.

Stephen Gillespie opened the scoring for Donegal as Arthur replied from a free.

But McKinney strode through the Farney defence and smashed home a great goal to give the home side real momentum.

Gilmore, Sean McVeigh and the impressive Josh McGee Cronolly made it 1-5 to 0-2 by 14 minutes with Declan Hughes pointing for Monaghan.

But it was all Donegal as they tacked on five more points from Ruari Campbell, McGee Cronolly (0-2) Gilmore and Declan Coulter to lead by 1-10 to 0-4. Arthur landed two frees for Monaghan fought back but Donegal deservedly led by 1-14 to 0-7 at the break.

And, any lingering hopes that Monaghan might have had of mounting any kind or a revival were firmly quashed when Oisin Grant caught a great ball on the edge of the square and crashed home a great goal to put Donegal ahead by 2-14 to 0-7.

Danny Cullen was given his first start of the year after a shoulder injury had ruled him out and he quickly set up Declan Coulter for a third Donegal goal and Gilmore rounded off a comprehensive performance by raising a fourth green flag.

Donegal top the group with three wins from three while Armagh pushed second placed Roscommon all the way, before losing by a single point to the Rossies, 0-21 to 0-20 at the Box-It Athletic Grounds.

Mayo are third in the table after their 3-22 to 0-17 win over Louth.

Round four

Saturday, May 11 (times TBC)

Mayo v Armagh (Hastings Insurance MacHale Park)

Monaghan v Louth (Inniskeen)

Roscommon v Donegal (Dr Hyde Park)