Tyrone finished the better side to move into the semi-finals of the Electric Ireland Ulster Minor Football Championship.
Donegal 1-8 Tyrone 1-12
By Chris McNulty at Sean MacCumhaill Park.
Four late points gave the Red Hands a useful win and Donegal couldn’t claw back the deficit. It’s the back door route now for Gary Duffy’s men.
Donegal, with the exception of Johnny McGroddy, lacked a spark in the final third for too long and Tyrone were able to get the job done.
Donegal led for the first time in the 49th minute when Johnny McGroddy tacked over his seventh point of the evening, scooping up a loose ball after a ’45 by the goalkeeper, Daithi Roberts, fell short.
Donegal were given a lifeline in the form of a goal on 36 minutes as Paul O’Hare scorched home following good approach work by the Donegal forwards. O’Hare, introduced as a first-half sub, made no mistake with a fine finish.
The lead, after McGroddy’s tidy point, was short-lived as Daniel Fullerton teed up a grandstand last ten minutes.
However, Tyrone hit the high gears again to eke out the win.
Fullerton and Mark Devlin hit two points each down the home straight as Tyrone carved out the win. Devlin’s sweeping effort from the shadows of the stand in the 56th minute was the pick of the bunch, but Fullerton weighed in with a monster of his own deep into added time.
Donegal looked in big trouble as Sean O’Donnell’s goal in the seventh minute had Tyrone 1-2 to no score in front.
O’Donnell riffled past Daithi Roberts after taking a pass from the ever-dangerous Fullerton.
Both sides had chances in the opening two minutes for goals.
Roberts came out to save superbly from Fullerton as the Carrickmore man bore menacingly down on the Donegal goal.
That came just 25 seconds after Finton Coney thwarted McGroddy, just when the Downings man seemed as if he might loft over the advancing Tyrone netminder.
Michael McGleenan had put Tyrone in front and Mark Devlin’s free doubled the lead before O’Donnell’s goal gave the Red Hands a comfortable cushion.
A Carlos O’Reilly point was all that Donegal could muster in the opening 20 minutes, but by the break they had narrowed the margin to three points, with Tyrone 1-4 to 0-4 in front.
Two McGroddy frees and another from play by the Donegal forward had the Tir Chonaill lads well in touch, but Fullerton and McGleenan at the other end had Tyrone three to the good.
Two from McGroddy kept Donegal in check again and O’Hare’s goal drew the sides level six minutes into the second half, but Tyrone had a little more nous in the closing stages.
Donegal: Daithi Roberts; Conor Roarty, Kieran Tobin, Dylan Dorrian; Conor Coyle, Jack Gallagher, Ryan McShane; Kealan Dunleavy, Eoin Dowling; Carlos O’Reilly (0-1), Senan Rooney, Ciaran Moore; Johnny McGroddy (0-7, 4f), Shane Monaghan, Eoin Martin. Subs: Paul O’Hare (1-0) for Martin (25), Matthew Coyle for McShane (47), Jamie Grant for Coyle (54), Eric Carr for Monaghan (57).
Tyrone: Finton Coney; Conor Cuddy, Mícheál McCann, Seamus Sweeney; Sean O’Donnell (1-1), Niall Devlin, James Donaghy; Shay Gallagher, Ruairí Campbell; Mark Devlin (0-4, 1f), Ronan McHugh, Michael Quinn; Daniel Fullerton (0-5, 3f), Shea Daly, Michael McGlennan (0-2). Subs: Shea Browne for Daly (38), Aaron McGrath for Quinn (45), Ethan Neill for McHugh (49), Conor McGillion for Donaghy (56), Steve Donaghy for McGillion (60).
Referee: Conor Dourneen (Cavan).Tags: