The Ulster Championship gets underway today.2020 beaten finalists Donegal travel to Down to take on the hosts in the first round of the Ulster Senior Football Championship. The game throws in at 1 pm and is live on RTÉ One and BBC1. The winner will go on to the quarter-finals with home advantage against Derry. The loser will see their short season ended. You can follow all the live action here.
Down v Donegal GAA Championship Live.Both sides were beaten by Cavan on the way to their provincial success last year. Down were beaten in the semi final and Donegal beaten in a shock result in the final. Down seemed to be the likely contenders to play Donegal in the Ulster final last year, after leading by ten points at one stage against Cavan, only for the Breffni men to mount an unlikely comeback. While Donegal fell to Cavan in a historic night for Mickey Graham’s men up in Armagh.
Down v Donegal GAA Championship Live: Michael Murphy a major doubt for DonegalDeclan Bonner’s men will have major question marks hanging over their All Ireland credentials after the disappointing end to the 2020 season. This followed the two previous seasons where they failed to get out of their Super 8s group. With that in mind, Bonner will be hoping for a good performance today. He may have to do so without key man Michael Murphy. Likewise, Donegal could be without Eoghan Bán Gallagher, Jamie Brennan, Stephen McMenamin, Odhrán Mac Niallais and Oisin Gallen. All struggling for fitness. Despite that concern, Declan Bonner will take confidence that Down are struggling to get going this year. The Division 2 side only just avoided relegation to Division 3 by beating Laois in the playoffs.
61 mins Down 1-10 Donegal 2-21
Another GOAL for Donegal and it's star man Patrick McBrearty who nets this time. A great performance from the Kilcar man today.
57 mins Down 1-10 Donegal 1-21
Donegal rack up their twentieth and twenty first score of the day, joining Kerry and Mayo in putting down markers with bigger titles and games in mind.
Kevin McKernan, the only survivor from the last Down team to reach and All Ireland final comes on with Down looking to empty the bench to give everyone a go as their season looks destined to finish today.
54 mins Down 1-10 Donegal 1-19
Barry O'Hagan picks up his eighth of the day to send Down into double scores with a smart score on his left. Patrick McBrearty responds with his sixth of the day to restore the nine point lead.
52 mins Down 1-9 Donegal 1-18
We're midway through the second half and we have the water break. Caolan Mooney's goal the highlight for Down in the second half but with Gerard McGovern getting red carded their chances of a come back went with him.
49 mins Down 1-9 Donegal 1-17
RED CARD Full back Gerard McGovern is sent to the line after a high and reckless tackle on Jamie Brennan in a blow for Down.
Donegal have maintained control and have looked strong defensively which will be pleasing for Declan Bonner but he'll be keenly aware that they face tougher tests ahead.