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THE SUNDAY GAME was back on our screens and it was the first major Sunday of the 2015 GAA championship.

We were following all the action from Ballybofey, Carrick-on-Shannon and Drogheda.

Get in touch in the usual ways. Tweet us @The42GAA, find us on Facebook, send your emails to fintan@the42.ie or leave a comment below.

‘We’re back’ is the roar of The Sunday Game. It’s the first big Sunday of the  2015 GAA season and we’re following the action all the way.

Here’s what’s in store today:

  • Connacht SFC quarter-final: Galway v Leitrim, Páirc Sean MacDiarmada, Carrick-on-Shannon, 3.30pm
  • Leinster SFC first round: Louth v Westmeath, Gaelic Grounds, Drogheda, 3.30pm
  • Ulster SFC preliminary round: Donegal v Tyrone, Ballybofey, 4pm

Here’s how they’ll line out in Carrick-on-Shannon.

The first flicker of a row between Joe Brolly and Pat Spillane over last year’s All-Ireland final but it’s quickly quelled by Michael Lyster as he moves swiftly on.

Early season Connacht silverware for Mayo football. They’ve won the provincial junior final against Galway, the curtain-raiser today in Carrick-on-Shannon.

Result: Connacht JFC final – Mayo 1-12 Galway 0-13

Late Donegal change with Colm McFadden coming in for Hugh McFadden.

3Mins

Louth 0-2 Westmeath 0-1
Lively start in the scoring stakes. Derek Maguire and Colm Judge on target for Louth.

5Mins

Leitrim 0-2 Galway 0-1
Sean McWeeney and Ronan Kennedy grab points for Leitrim after Paul Conroy had got Galway off the mark.

All over in the Ulster minor football championship opener with Donegal seeing off Tyrone by 1-11 to 0-8.

Couple of interesting late changes to the Tyrone team. Both Brennan and McShane are graduates from the recent triumphant U21 team.

17Mins

Galway 0-2 Leitrim 0-2
Michael Lundy on target to equalise for Galway.

23Mins

Galway 0-3 Leitrim 0-2
Paul Conroy edges Galway in front.

Westmeath 0-5 Louth 0-3
Two point advantage for Tom Cribben’s side.

We’re all set for the big one, predictions for the outcome in Ballybofey?

27Mins

Westmeath 0-6 Louth 0-3
John Heslin wins a free, converts the free and Westmeath go three clear.

Game on in Ballybofey.

1Mins

Donegal 0-1 Tyrone 0-0
Lightning start by Donegal as Frank McGlynn tears forward and pops over a neat point.

2Mins

Donegal 0-2 Tyrone 0-0
Really good play from Donegal. Patient play around the middle before Michael Murphy’s delivery finds Patrick McBrearty. He skins his man and come in off the right flank to take his point.

29Mins

Galway 0-6 Leitrim 0-3
Paul Conroy knocks over a free to stretch Galway’s lead to three.

5Mins

Donegal 0-3 Tyrone 0-0
Tyrone are getting unlocked here at the back. Odhran MacNiallais does great approach work, plays it across to Neil Gallagher who finds Christy Toye in plenty space and he picks off his point.

34Mins

Goal for Galway’s Damien Comer!

35Mins

Galway 1-7 Leitrim 0-4
Damien Comer was the start of Galway’s win over New York and he’s making a big impact again today as he fires in a the game’s opening goal.

9Mins

Donegal 0-4 Tyrone 0-0
Martin McElhinney with another point, Donegal are absolutely flying.

9Mins

Goal for Tyrone from Darren McCurry!

10Mins

Donegal 0-4 Tyrone 1-0
Where did that come from?! Tyrone have looked very tentative early on with Donegal dictating the terms but Mickey Harte’s have just rattled the back of the net. It’s a cracking finish by Darren McCurry but Donegal’s defence was surprisingly prised apart with Peter Harte finding McCurry in aces of room.

13Mins

Donegal 0-5 Tyrone 1-0
Colm McFadden settles Donegal after the concession of that goal as he hooks over a point off his right.

16Mins

Donegal 0-6 Tyrone 1-0
Martin McElhinney grabs his second point of the day.

20Mins

Donegal 0-6 Tyrone 1-1
Justin McMahon hits a point but Tyrone could have got a greater reward with the score coming from a rebound after Peter Harte came closing to hitting the net only for Paul Durcan to block his shot.

24Mins

Two scoring chances for Tyrone from frees but Darren McCurry off target with both. Those could be costly.

26Mins

Donegal 0-6 Tyrone 1-2
Tyrone hanging in there as Sean Cavanagh knocks over a close-range free.

Westmeath 1-7 Louth 0-6
Westmeath four points clear early in the second-half.

29Mins

Donegal 0-7 Tyrone 1-2
Christy Toye relieves the pressure on Donegal with a point.

31Mins

Donegal 0-7 Tyrone 1-3
Sean Cavanagh points a free for Tyrone after Peter Harte is fouled by Neil Gallagher. Tyrone have to be happy with this state of affairs given Donegal’s powerful start to the game.

32Mins

Donegal 0-7 Tyrone 1-4
Great individual score by Matthew Donnelly, he shrugs off the challenge of Ryan McHugh and clips over a foot off his left.

33Mins

Tyrone 1-5 Donegal 0-7
And now Tyrone go in front! Fine point from Sean Cavanagh after a mistake from Karl Lacey.

34Mins

Tyrone 1-6 Donegal 0-7
Tyrone playing really good stuff now. Ronan McNamee adds a point to stretch their lead. Cavanagh, Harte and Donnelly really driving them on.

34Mins

Yellow card for Donegal’s Neil Gallagher.

37Mins

Donegal 1-8 Tyrone 1-6
MacNiallais with the initial chance for Donegal but Michael O’Neill produces a brilliant block to deny him. The rebound falls to McElhinney and he strikes first time superbly to the net. McFadden has just knocked over a fine point to put Donegal two ahead.

Some shenanigans at half-time as both sides come off the pitch in Ballybofey. A schemozzle being the correct term.

Flag

Westmeath 3-11 Louth 0-14
Thirteen minutes left and the advantage is with Westemath.

60Mins

Galway 1-10 Leitrim 0-6
Kevin Walsh’s side are seven points clear with ten minutes left in Carrick-on-Shannon.

65Mins

Galway 1-12 Leitrim 0-8
Time running out and Galway in control at Carrick-on-Shannon.

17,435 in Ballybofey.

36Mins

Donegal 1-8 Tyrone 1-7
Sean Cavanagh knocks over a free after his brother Colm is fouled.

Good victory for Westmeath as they have seven points to spare in Drogheda.

38Mins

Donegal 1-8 Tyrone 1-8
Now we’re all square thanks to a lovely point by Conor McAliskey.

39Mins

Sub: Mark McHugh in for Donegal for Martin O’Reilly.

42Mins

Sub: Padraig McNulty on for Tyrone for Cathal McShane.

43Mins

Donegal 1-9 Tyrone 1-8
Really fine point for Donegal from Patrick McBrearty.

46Mins

Donegal 1-10 Tyrone 1-8
Karl Lacey stretches Donegal’s lead further with a neat score.

50Mins

Donegal 1-10 Tyrone 1-9
Couple of good bits of news for Tyrone. Conor McAliskey points at one end and then at the other, Michael O’Neill produces a fabulous save to deny Patrick McBrearty.

51Mins

Donegal 1-10 Tyrone 1-10
All square now as McAliskey strikes again!

Michael Murphy and Neil McGee with Justin McMahon Tyrone's Justin McMahon with Donegal's Michael Murphy and Neil McGee. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

55Mins

Sub: Tiernan McCann on for Barry Tierney in the Tyrone team.

57Mins

Tyrone 1-11 Donegal 1-10
Good kick by Michael Murphy from a free and that puts Donegal back in front.

61Mins

Another top-drawer save by Michael O’Neill in the Tyrone goal to deny Colm McFadden this time.

61Mins

Donegal 1-12 Tyrone 1-10
But Michael Murphy taps over a free as McFadden had been fouled moments before.

63Mins

That’s another miss from a free by Darren McCurry and Tyrone still trail by two.

64Mins

Yellow card for Tyrone’s Justin McMahon. Donegal fans very happy to hear that.

Sub: Mark Bradley, another U21 graduate in for Tyrone, for McCurry.

67Mins

Second yellow for Gallagher and that’s 14 men Donegal have to play with for the closing stages.

68Mins

High challenge from Cavanagh and he receives a black card, which is followed by a red as he was already on yellow.

68Mins

We should mention that Paul Durcan produced a brilliant late save to deny Peter Harte a few moments ago, clawing the ball away as Tyrone nearly grabbed a second goal.

70Mins

Donegal 1-13 Tyrone 1-10
Is that the insurance score? Michael Murphy brilliantly strikes over a ’45.

70Mins

Sub: Ronan O’Neill on for Tyrone for McAliskey.

71Mins

Sub: David Walsh on for Donegal for McElhinney.

72Mins

Colm Cavanagh nearly rescues Tyrone with a goal but he palms the ball against the crossbar.

73Mins

And Tyrone nearly hit the net again! Mattie Donnelly fires in a rocket of a shot  but the balls flies wide.

Three-point win for Donegal, they macrh on in the Ulster championship to face Armagh in the quarter-final. The qualifiers beckons for Tyrone but they gave it everything today and really pushed Donegal hard. Really interesting, good game to kickstart the 2015 football championship.

That’s all from us after the first big championship Sunday of the year as Donegal, Galway and Westmeath all claim victories while the qualifiers beckons for Tyrone, Leitrim and Louth. Thanks for joining in.

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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