Johnny Heaney and Sean Kelly at the double as Tribesmen defeat Donegal in the National League
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Johnny Heaney and Sean Kelly at the double as Tribesmen defeat Donegal in the National League

SECOND HALF goals from Johnny Heaney and Sean Kelly set up a sensational 2-08 to 2-07 victory for Galway in Letterkenny.

A Michael Murphy penalty on 21 minutes, resulting in a black card for Galway keeper Connor Gleeson helped Donegal to a 1-03 to 0-04 half time lead and there was little sign of the turnaround to come.

They were seven points off the pace shortly after the interval when Ciaran Thompson cashed in on good work by Ryan McHugh to smash the ball home.

Declan Bonner’s side lost Paul Brennan for 10 minutes afterwards and Galway seized the momentum. Heaney sauntered into space and fired low past Shaun Patton to give his side hope.

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Galway find a way

Kelly created and scored Galway’s second goal just past the 50 minute mark, he cut inside with one neat turn and dispatched the ball into the bottom corner to square the game.

Shane Walsh – as is so often the case – made Galway tick and scored four points in afternoon far from conducive for free flowing football.

Michael Daly’s point left Galway two up in the latter stages – although Daly would see red for a second yellow having felled Caolan Ward with a high challenge three minutes from time.

Donegal had the chances to secure a draw but Thompson and Murphy were both off target with frees and Galway edged home.

Galway boss Padraic Joyce was delighted with the effort his side was able to muster late on in Letterkenny. “It was a massive recovery, but the boys showed great character and great heart,” he told The Irish Post.

“It has been questioned in Galway before – having heart and character and had we the bottle for these big matches.

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“Look, to come to Donegal and get two points is no easy feat so hats off, I’m so proud of the lads and I’m so proud to be their manager. They showed really good courage there in the second half and we scored two brilliant goals and got some great scores as well.

He added: “The conditions were very difficult, on the pitch there was a swirling breeze out there and fair play to both teams for putting on a good show.”