Donegal lit up Friday night at Strabane Sigersons with an excellent 12-point win over Tyrone in the Ulster Minor Football League.
Declan Bonner’s side cut loose to win their second outing in the spring series - having opened with a 5-23 to 1-4 victory in Fermanagh and despite making six changes, were even more impressive against Tyrone.
A point on 21 seconds through Fiontán McClure showed the hosts meant intent but Donegal soon steadied themselves and by the 15th minute had turned that deficit to lead 0-5 to 0-1 with the stirring Ethan O’Donnell, Michael Carroll, Niall O’Donnell and Nathan Gavigan all on the mark.
Donegal survived a minor - no pun intended - scare when Naoise O’Baoill was dispossessed by Cormac O’Hagan but Shane Graham made an easy save.
Donegal continued on the front foot and, with an array of finely constructed and concluded scores, were 0-9 to 0-3 ahead at half-time.
Whatever notions Tyrone had of making second half inroads were dispelled within three minutes when Donegal substitute Mark Coyle netted what proved to be the only goal of the game.
Again, the spade work was commendable with Daire O’Baoill’s brave slapdown an intricate part of the move that also saw Michael Langan and Niall O’Donnell involved.
Three minutes later, Ethan O’Donnell was denied what would’ve been a brilliant individual goal by a clearance from Ciaran McGlinchey - the Naomh Conaill player had gone on a mazy run before getting a slap on the end of the passage of play.
Even though they failed to add to their goal tally, Donegal continued to knock over a succession of points. Kane Barrett was lively inside, while Coyle and fellow substitute Caolan McDaid also popped over eye-catching efforts.
Donegal welcome Derry - who defeated Tyrone 1-8 to 0-10 in their one outing to date - to Sean MacCumhaill Park on Saturday and have a home appointment against Antrim seven days’ later.
Donegal: Shane Graham; Gary McFadden, John Ross Molloy, Dylan Kennedy; Stephen McMenamin, Brendan McCole, Daire O’Baoill; Nathan Gavigan (0-1), Michael Carroll (0-3, 1f); Michael Langan (0-1), Niall O’Donnell (0-2), Ethan O’Donnell (0-2, 1f); Naoise O’Baoill, Ryan Greene, Kane Barrett (0-3, 1f) Subs: Seaghan Ferry for D Kennedy (25), Rory Carr and Mark Coyle (1-2) for Molloy and Greene (half-time), Caolan McDaid (0-2, 1f) for Gavigan (38), Odhran McGinley for N O’Baoill (46) .
Tyrone: Brendan Gallen; Stephen Corr, Colin Campbell, Eoighain Murray; Cahir Moss, Michael McKernan, Ciaran McGlinchey; Patrick Molloy, Gary Molloy (0-1); Conn Kilpatrick, Cormac O’Hagan, Nathan Donnelly; Emmet McNabb (0-1, 1f), Fiontain McClure (0-2, 1f), Daniel Kerr (0-2). Subs: Michael Corless for Kilpatrick (19), Conor Shiels for S Corr (25), Ryan Coleman for Donnelly (38), David Mulgrew (0-1) for G Molloy, Ryan Devine for Kerr (57), Ryan McAleer for E McNabb (58).
Referee: Ciaran Mooney (Down).