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Patton the hero as Donegal defeat Monaghan

Donegal 1-12 Monaghan 0-14

Shaun Patton produced a stunning injury-time penalty save as Donegal held on to defeat Monaghan in their opening McKenna Cup fixture at MacCumhaill Park today.

Monaghan were the better team in the opening exchanges and were 5-1 up after 11 minutes.

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Eoghan McGettigan hit the crossbar with a goal chance for Donegal, before the visitors moved five points ahead.

Donegal responded well with four on the trot from Michael Langan, Conor O’Donnell, Jamie Brennan and Peadar Mogan, but Monaghan finished the half strongly and they led by 0-9 to 0-7 at the break.

The home side drew level at the start of the second half, but Kieran Hughes nudged Monaghan ahead again before Brendan McCole was sent off for Donegal after picking up a second yellow card.

Paul Brennan levelled matters before Peadar Mogan put Donegal 1-10 to 0-10 ahead with a goal in the 51st minute.

Dermot Malone and Langan (free) traded points, before Jamie Brennan raced through on goal but his shot powered off the crossbar and over the bar.

Monaghan reduced their deficit to two points and they then won a penalty but Patton made a double save from Shane Carey.

Rory Beggan drilled a late free over the bar but Donegal held on to win, and they will secure a spot in the McKenna Cup semi-finals with a draw or a win over Derry on Wednesday night at Celtic Park.

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