Donegal U-21 hurlers failed in their attempt to win the Ulster U-21 Shield despite a second half comeback against Tyrone in Celtic Park, Derry.
An inspired first half display from Tyrone captain Damien Cassidy proved too much for Donegal on the night.
Tyrone, fielding five senior panellists, bossed the game from the start with captain Cassidy punishing every mistake Donegal made. The Eoghan Ruadh player had scored five inside the opening 10 minutes on his way to a perfect nine points from nine first half shots, including one huge free of almost 100 yards and two from play.
Donegal finally got off the mark on 12 minutes through Chris Bonnar but their policy of pushing for goals was playing into Tyrone hands who were well worth their 0-11 to 0-4 half-time advantage.
Donegal were a vastly imrpoved outfit second half as points from Justin Browne, Conor McCarmack and Chris Bonnar brought it back to 0-12 against 0-7. However, once Cassidy had found his range again in the second half to finish with a personal tally of 0-11 there was only one winner. Two late goals from Donegal corner-forward Colm Kelly - the second three minutes into injury time - made the final score closer than it should have been but it was Tyrone’s night.
Donegal: Dyman Lafferty; Fintan Culhane, Padraig Doherty, Mark Callaghan; Christopher McDermott, Shane Gallen, Colm Flood; Justin Browne (0-4, 4f), Conor Parke; Ronan McDermott, Conor McVeigh, Christopher McVeigh, Christopher Bonnar (0-2); Bernard Lafferty, Conor Gallen, Colm Kelly (2-1). (Subs) Conor McCormack (0-1) for B Lafferty 41mins;
Tyrone:Conor McElhatton, Brendan Begley, Conor McNally, Mark McCrory; Dermot Begley, Tiarnan Morgan, Liam Armstorng; Gerard Gilmore, Damien Cassidy (0-11, 6f, 3 sixty-fives); Eamon Duffin, Kiefer Morgan (0-1), Ciaran McCrudden (0-1); Mathew Mulgrew, Mark Mullan (0-1), Brian McGurk (0-2). (Subs) Michael Maneely for C McCrudden, 43 mins; Caolan Devlin for M Mulgrew, 54mins;
Referee: Noel Mullaney (Monaghan)