It was very much a case of Tipperary’s loss and Donegal’s gain as Donegal overcame Tyrone by five points in O’Donnell Park.
Former Tipperary Intermediate player Davin Flynn stole the show as he hit 2-8 of Donegal’s total, with all of his scores but one from play.
Flynn, in only his third outing in a Donegal shirt having declared his allegiance to Donegal at the start of the year, was really buzzing from the word go.
He hit the first of the goals on seven minutes after good work out on the right wing from Donegal’s other new recruit Declan Coulter.
He had also had the game’s opening point.
Donegal led 1-7, to 0-8 at half-time after dominating most of the opening 35 minutes. Lee Henderson, Danny
Cullen and Ronan McDermott were also on the scoresheet for Ardal McDermott’ side.
Tyrone recovered from a sluggish start and thanks to Ryan McKernan, Damian Casey, Chris Cross and Justin Kelly, the O’Neill County were still in touch at the break.
But Flynn got the scoreboard ticking again on the resumption to extend Donegal’s lead out three points, 1-8 to 0-8.
Tyrone were in no mood for rolling over and Conor Grogan twice pointed either side of another Flynn white flag to leave only two between them ten minutes into the new half.
Flynn momentarily restored Donegal’s three point advantage, but quick fire points from Damien Casey and substitute Matthew Mulgrew - with his first touch - reduced the gap to a single point, approaching the three quarter mark.
But Flynn took control again. He landed a point before he raced in from the left wing to rattle the back of the Tyrone net.
That was on 52 minutes and when he quickly followed with his only score from a free after he was fouled, the margin was back out to six, 2-12 to 0-12, with a little over a quarter of an hour remaining.
Tiarnan Morgan, Tyrone’s best player, and Casey kept the Tyrone side of the scoreboard ticking.
But in reality there was no way back for the Red Hands, and Flynn crowned a super personal performance with two late points. A day to remember for the young Tipperary man.
DONEGAL; Paul Burns; Dara Grant, Jamesie Donnelly, Padraig Doherty; Jack O’Loughlin, Joe Boyle, Niall Cleary; Danny Cullen (0-2), Lee Henderson (0-2, 1’65’); Enda McDermott, Ritchie Kee, Davin Flynn (2-8,1f); Stephen Gillespie, Ronan McDermott (0-1), Declan Coulter (0-1). Subs; Christopher McDermott for R Kee, Bernard Lafferty for N Cleary, both h/t; Kevin Campbell for S Gillespie, 59;
TYRONE: John Devlin; Ruairi Devlin, Brendan Begley, Gary Mulgrew; Aidan Kelly, Stephen Donnelly, Tiarnan Morgan(0-2); Chris Cross (0-1), Dermot Begley; Conor Grogan (0-2), Pierse Kelly, Damian Casey (0-5,1,65, 1,f); Ryan McKernan (0-3), Seán Og Grogan, Justin Kelly (0-1). Subs; Matthew Mulgrew (0-1) for P Kelly,48; Peadar Daly for J Kelly, 63.
Referee; Kevin McGeaney (Roscommon).