RUAIRI Canavan hit five points as Tyrone minors overcame Donegal in the Ulster Minor League at O’Donnell Park.
Donegal 1-8 Tyrone 1-10
By Chris McNulty at O’Donnell Park
Canavan – son of Tyrone legend Peter – was a big difference as the Red Hands defeating a battling Donegal.
Blake McGarvey’s penalty ignited what had seemed an unlikely comeback until then with a goal from a 38th minute penalty, but when Liam Ryan fisted home from close range just five minutes later Tyrone had a foothold.
Donegal fought from there to the finish, but Tyrone managed to hold sway.
Donegal were trailing 0-6 to 0-2 and in need of a lifeline when they got thrown the buoy.
Conor O’Neill and Daniel Gildea created an opening with a quick interchange. As McGarvey took receipt of the ball, he went down under Joe Hamilton’s challenge.
Referee John Murphy had little option but to award the penalty and McGarvey brilliantly fired the spot-kick high past Adam Grugan.
Within seconds, Gildea brought Donegal onto level terms for the first time.
However, Tyrone hit the front again when Liam Ryan beat Donegal goalkeeper Ben Miller to a dropping ball in from a Ruairi Canavan free. Ryan batted to the net and, all of a sudden, Tyrone were three ahead.
Conor O’Neill and Drew McKinney kept Donegal on the Tyrone coat-tails and when Fionnan Coyle bent over with two minutes left Donegal were back within the minimum.
Sub David Boyle ensured that Donegal remained in with a shout after Canavan’s fifth of the day steadied the wobbles for the visitors.
Eoin O’Donnell was off target with a free six minutes in to added time and, yet, there were – from somewhere – a further two minutes played by Murphy, but Conor Cush’s second of the day secured the win.
Donegal began their campaign with a battling draw in terrible conditions last Saturday in Ballyshannon, where Donegal led 1-5 to 0-1 at half-time, only for Sligo to hit back for a 1-5 to 0-8 draw.
Stephen McFadden netted the Donegal goal last weekend and he was one of 12 players to retain their place in the Tir Chonaill line-up. Jack Boyle, Cian Rooney and O’Neill were all drafted in by Barrett.
Blake McGarvey broke the Donegal duck with a close-range free on 18 minutes.
By that stage, Red Hands captain Sean O’Donnell arched over three frees. The flame-haired wing-back was the picture of calm as he stroked over three times in the opening 15 minutes.
Tyrone shipped a heavy 2-10 to 0-4 loss against Cavan in their first outing, but they made their intent clear in the Letterkenny rain.
Canavan showed the family ways with a classy score from distance to restore the three-point advantage. Canavan tacked on a free and the lead was out to four.
Tyrone held a 0-5 to 0-1 half-time lead.
Donegal midfielder McKinney was denied by Grugan, the Tyrone goalkeeper, at his near post. Tyrone broke and Canavan converted a free down the other end.
Just when it seemed as if the writing was scrawled on the gable wall for Donegal, McGarvey’s penalty began a rescue mission.
Ryan’s goal gave Tyrone a cushion once more and it was a concession that really rocked Donegal, who were just starting to find their feet in the contest.
Donegal: Ben Miller; Cian Mulligan, Jack Boyle, Cian McEntee; Kyle Murray, Eoin O’Donnell, Oisin Crawford; Drew McKinney (0-1), Senan Quinn; Stephen McFadden, Daniel Gildea (0-1), Blake McGarvey (1-2, 1-0pen, 2f); Cian Rooney, Conor O’Neill (0-2), Fionnan Coyle (0-1). Subs: Daragh Gillen for Quinn (37), David Boyle (0-1) for Rooney (49), Liam McGrenaghan for Coyle (59).
Tyrone: Adam Grugan; Callan Kelly, Finbar McTaggart, Joe Hamilton; James Donaghy, Lorcan McGinley, Sean O’Donnell (0-3f); Oran McGrath, Conor Colton; Michael Rafferty, Ruairi Canavan (0-5, 3f), Tom Grimes; Conor Cush (0-2), Liam Ryan (1-0), Ben Donnelly. Subs: Callum Lagan for Grimes (half-time), Ruairi for Colton (50), Eoin Neill for Donnelly (54), Dan Muldoon for McGrath (60+1).
Referee: John Murphy (Fermanagh)Tags: