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Donegal crowned Nicky Rackard Cup champions

23 June 2018; Declan Coulter of Donegal in action against Paul Hoban of Warwickshire during the Nicky Rackard Cup Final match between Donegal and Warwickshire at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Donegal 2-19 Warwickshire 0-18

Donegal’s hurlers overcame a poor first half to defeat Warwickshire in Croke Park today and win the Nicky Rackard Cup for only the second time.

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Mickey McCann’s team came into the final high on confidence, but they made a slow start and Warwickshire established a 0-9 to 0-3 lead after 15 minutes.

Donegal did claw back their deficit with Declan Coulter and Gerry Gilmore doing the bulk of the scoring.

However, two late frees from the impressive Niall McKenna left Warwickshire four ahead at the break.

HT: Donegal 0-8 Warwickshire 0-12

Coulter landed four points at the start of the second half to level proceedings, but McKenna nudged Warwickshire back in front again.

Donegal then went ahead for the first time in the 47th minute when Gavin Browne scored a brilliant goal, before Shane Caulfield was sent off for Warwickshire.

Donegal’s fitness came good in the second period, and Coulter’s 54th minute goal put them firmly in control.

McCann’s team closed the game out with minimum fuss to win the Nicky Rackard Championship for the first time since 2013.

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