Just like the minors, the Donegal U-17 Development squad were pipped by Tyrone in Ballybofey on Saturday.
Donegal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0-8
Tyrone. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-7
Tyrone struck early and late and there will be plenty to learn for Donegal from this game, which was up for graps in the final quarter but it was the Red Hands boys who finished the stronger.
Donegal conceded a soft goal in the first ten minutes, PT Cunningham getting in to score for Tyrone.
But they had clawed their way back into the game but then let it slip in the final ten minutes.
The Donegal lads just didn’t have the composure in the final quarter, failing to score for some 27 minutes of the second half.
It looked good at half-time and early in the second half as Donegal had reeled Tyrone back to edge in front thanks to points from Killybegs pair Michael Gallagher and Shaun Gorrell. Thomas McGowan edged them ahead 0-6 to 1-2 but it was all square at the break, Donegal 0-6, Tyrone 1-3.
A pointed free from Gallagher and what proved to be their last score from Shay Gallagher had Donegal ahead within three minutes of the restart, but it all went wrong after that.
In the difficult conditions Tyrone hauled Donegal back and the home side were left with much to ponder.
Donegal: Sean Taylor (Aodh Ruadh): Aaron Deeney (St Eunan’s), Darragh Byrne (Naomh Ultan), Danny Walsh (Ardara); Michael McGroary (St Eunan’s), Paul Murphy (Bundoran, 0-1), Ryan McMahon (Milford); James Breslin (Naomh Padraig, Muff), Shaun Gorrell (Killybegs, 0-1); Michael Gallagher (Killybegs, 0-3, 1f), Cian McEniff (Bundoran), Shay Doherty (Letterkenny Gaels, 0-2); Johnny Sweeney (Ardara), Thomas McGowan (Four Masters, 0-1), Shane Gillespie (Kilcar). Subs: Luke Devlin (Urris) for Byrne (44), Barry Gallagher (Termon) for Breslin (47), Patrick Dolan (St Mary’s, Convoy) for Doherty (49), Matthew McGovern (St Eunan’s) for Sweeney (51).
Tyrone: Conor Woods; Ciaran Breen, Conor Quinn, Stephen Talbot; Peadar Mullan, Daniel McGuigan, James Taggart; Ruairi Gormley, Oran Mallon; Ciaran Brolly, PT Cunningham (1-3, 1f), Matthew McGuigan (0-2); Paddy McElduff, Mark Donnelly (0-1, 1f), Liam Hughes. Subs: Ciaran Cuddy for Hughes (39), Daniel Doherty for Brolly (43), James Morgan for McElduff (43), Cahair Gallagher (0-1, 1f) for Donnelly (43), Caolan McCarron for McGuigan (60), Cahair Quinn for Gallagher (black card, 60).
Referee: Dan Mullan (Derry).