CHARLIE COLLINS REPORTS FROM THE BUNCRANA CUP ACTION. TYRONE 1-09 V 1-06 DONEGAL. 2012 All Ireland winner Ryan Bradley, home on a short break, was in attendance as his home club hosted the Final of the Under 16 Buncrana Cup between Donegal and Tyrone. Earlier in the day Donegal had ended Monaghan’s dominance of the competition, denying them the opportunity to make it four in a row , with a hard earned one point victory in Burt. In their semi-final in Muff Tyrone had beaten Cavan by five points to set up a repeat of the 2012 and 2013 Finals which Donegal had both won. The tough game in Burt may have been a factor in the latter stages of the Final as Tyrone kicked the final three points in the last seven minutes as they finished the stronger team of the two teams. The sides were level at the break 1-02 apiece after a closely contested opening period. Padraig Mc Gettigan got Donegal off to a great start with a goal in the opening minute, pouncing on a defensive mistake and smashing the ball home. Shane Murphy opened Tyrone’s account in the 5th minute, Josh Conlon replied for Donegal and Mark Hayes added Tyrone’s second. Donegal keeper Corey Byrne produced a brilliant save to deny Cormac Hughed in the 19th minute but could do nothing four minutes later when Oisín Mc Hugh burst through several tackles before dispatching the ball to the bottom corner to give Tyrone the lead for the first time. Just before the half-time whistle sounded Shane O Donnell kicked a super point off his left foot to level the scores at 1-02 each. The teams were level twice during the second-half as play swung from end to end. Tyrone had gone two ahead with points by sub Darragh Skeffington and Mark Hayes, Jonathan Toye replied with a pointed free for Donegal but Skeffington restored Tyrone’s two point cushion with his second point from play. Back came Donegal with two points to level it again, Josh Conlon kicked over a free and then Cathal Gillespie converted a fine effort from play to leave it 1-05 apiece. Lorcan Mc Bride restored Tyrone’s lead with a free but Sub Alex Mc Geehan equalised with his first touch a minute later. That proved to be Donegal’s last score as Tyrone upped the ante yet again to knock over three final and unanswered points. All came from close in frees, two by Shane Conlon and the final one by Lorcan Mc Bride. Donegal pressed for the goal they needed in the remaining minutes but it was to no avail as Tyrone defended well and in numbers to secure their first Buncrana Cup since 2011. DONEGAL SCORERS; Padraig Mc Gettigan ( 1-0 ), Josh Conlon ( 0-2 1f ), Cathal Gillespie ( 0-1 ), Shane O Donnell ( 0-1 ), Jonathan Toye ( 0-1f ), Alex Mc Geehan ( 0-1 ). TYRONE SCORERS; Oisin Mc Hugh ( 1-0 ), Lorcan Mc Bride ( 0-2 ), Darragh Skeffington ( 0-2 ), Mark Hayes ( 0-2 ), Shane Conlon ( 0-2 1f ), Shane Murphy ( 0-1 ), DONEGAL 2-08 V 1-10 MONAGHAN. Earlier in the day Donegal had beaten holders Monaghan in the semi-final in Burt. After going four points down early on Donegal fought back to lead by a point at half-time 1-04 to 1-03, Dylan Doogan doing great work before setting up Jonathan Toye for an excellent goal. Shane O Donnell made it a two point game but Donnach Swinburne hit two for Monaghan to level it. Two Toye points put Donegal ahead again but Swinburne and Sean Jones replied to make it 1-07 apiece and anyone’s game with ten minutes left. A minute later Padraig Mc Gettigan burst through and passed to Cathal Gillespie who slotted the ball low past the keeper for a three point lead. Aaronn Mulligan pointed for Monaghan, Jonathan Toye pointed a free but Jones quickly replied to leave two in it again. In the final minute Monaghan were denied a goal by two Brillant goal-line blocks by Donegal sub Rory O Donnell, Mulligan added another point by Donegal just about held on for a hard earned victory and a place in the final for thr first time since 2013. DONEGAL SCORERS; Jonathan Toye ( 1-3 ), Cathal Gillespie ( 1-0 ), Padraig Mc Gettigan ( 0-2 ), Dylan Doogan ( 0-2 ), Shane O Donnell ( 0-1 ). DONEGAL SQUAD: Corey Byrne ( Killybegs), Caolan Gallagher ( Termon), Aaron Gilhooley ( Mac Cumhaills ), Matthew Mulholland ( Buncrana), Charlie Breslin Killybegs), Seamus Og Byrne ( Killybegs), Leo Dunphy ( Naomh Conaill), Shane Gillespie ( Aodh Ruaidh ), , Anthony Doherty ( Carndonagh ), Cian Callen ( Mac Cumhaills), Shane O Donnell ( St.Eunans), Padraig Mc Gettigan ( St. Eunans), Josh Conlon ( Malin ), Jonathan Toye ( Naomh Padraig), Joseph Mc Grenra ( Buncrana), Eoin Doherty ( Aodh Ruaidh), Alex Mc Geehan ( Mac Cumhaills), Odhran Mc Glynn ( Glenfin), Darragh Mc Menamin ( Red Hughs ), Dylan Doogan ( St. Eunans), Ryan Hegarty ( Buncrana), Oisín Kelly ( Burt ), Michael Coughlan ( St.Naul’s), Rory O Donnell ( Milford ), Cathal Gillespie ( Gweedore), Cillian Gildea ( Killybegs), Johnny Mc Hugh ( Ardara), Timmy Gorrell ( Killybegs), Oran Winston ( St. Eunans), Conner Coll ( Milford), Karl Gallagher ( Killybegs).
TYRONE PIP DONEGAL TO WIN BUNCRANA CUP.
Author of 'Boxing In Donegal: A History (2021)' - the definitive history of the sport in County Donegal - and 'Relentless: A Race Through Time', the 2019 memoir of former Irish Athletics Team Manager Patsy McGonagle. From St Johnston and now based in Letterkenny, Chris was a nominee for NUJ Sports Journalist of the Year in 2010. Honoured by the Donegal Boxing Board in 2016 for his coverage on the sport.