Donegal’s hurlers fell to a crushing 15-point loss to Tyrone in the Nicky Rackard Cup this afternoon at Carrickmore.
Tyrone 4-19 Donegal 0-16
By Charlie Collins in Carrickmore
The defeat means that Ardal McDermott’s team now go to the qualifying rounds of the competition next weekend.
The heavy loss meant a 38-point turnaround from the Division 3A final, which Donegal won by 23 points in Celtic Park at the beginning of the month.
But with Conor Grogan bagging a brace and Seán Óg Grogan on the mark, as well as the excellent Damien Casey scoring 1-10, Tyrone were much too strong.
Tyrone played with a stiff wind in their sails in the opening half and they sped into a three-point lead with Bryan McGurk, Casey and Tiarnan Morgan clipping over.
Donegal – who saw captain Danny Cullen go off injured after just 15 minutes – were denied a goal when Ronan McDermott’s batted effort was saved by Conor McElhatton, the Tyrone netminder.
Tyrone were in the mood and, after McGurk, Casey, McGurk again and Justin Kelly drilled over, the Red Hands goaled in the 16th minute. A poor puck-out was seized on by Conor Grogan, who hammered to the net.
Tyrone, stung by the effects of that Division 3A final loss at Celtic Park, upped the ante even further.
With Casey tacking on four points, Conor Grogan and Seán Óg Grogan landing points, they had the game effectively sewn up even before their second goal arrived.
In the final minute of normal time at the end of the first half, Morgan’s high ball in was fetched by Conor Grogan and he smashed past Paul Burns.
Two points from Casey made it a 17-point game at the break and Donegal were left staring at the abyss.
Casey got his three-pointer in the 44th minute. Casey took possession, out-paced the Donegal defence and fired to the bottom corner.
Tyrone’s fourth major arrived four minutes from the end when Seán Óg Grogan finished well after being teed up by the magnificent Casey, while Donegal finished with 14 men as Christopher McDermott was sent off after being given a second yellow card.
Tyrone: Conor McElhatton; Padraig McHugh, Brendan Begley, Sean Muldoon; Lorcan Devlin, Stephen Donnelly (0-1), Tiarnan Morgan (0-1); Ruairi Devlin, Dermot Begley; Conor Grogan (2-1), Seán Óg Grogan (1-1), Justin Kelly (0-1); Peadar Daly, Damien Casey (1-10, 6f), Bryan McGurk (0-4). Subs: Pierce O’Kelly for S.Óg Grogan (68), Duinbie Marshall for McGurk (70), Dean Rafferty for Morgan (70).
Donegal: Paul Burns; Dara Grant, Jamesie Donnelly, Padhraic Doherty (0-1); Joe Boyle (0-2), Jack O’Loughlin, Christopher McDermott; Danny Cullen, Lee Henderson (0-6, 1 ’65, 5f); Bernard Lafferty, Ronan McDermott, Gerard Gilmore (0-3); Declan Coulter, Stephen Gillespie, Davin Flynn (0-3). Subs: Colm Melaugh for Cullen (15), Sean McVeigh (0-1) for Gillespie (40).
Referee: Johnny Murphy (Limerick)Tags: