Impressive Donegal inflict first defeat on Tyrone to keep their great Ballybofey record

Peter Campbell


Peter Campbell

Impressive Donegal  inflict first defeat on Tyrone to keep their great Ballybofey record

Donegal inflicted a first league defeat on Tyrone with a commanding display in MacCumhaill Park.

Donegal  0-12

Tyrone 0-6

Donegal were on top from the start and a very good second quarter had them in control. Ciaran Thompson again hit three points and they also introduced a number of U-21s to make their debut. Ryan McHugh and Michael Murphy again played important roles in the win, which sees Donegal join Kerry and Dublin at the top of Division One on seven points.

Donegal again started without Patrick McBrearty and they also were without Caolan Ward.

Donegal produced one of their best ever halves of football in the driving rain to lead 0-9 to 0-4 at the break.

Before an attendance of 8,570, Donegal dominated the possession stakes but the sides were level at 0-4 each after 19 minutes thanks to a quick burst of scoring from Peter Harte.

Sean Cavanagh had opened the scoring from a free but two magnificent Ciaran Thompson points had Donegal in front. Frank McGlynn and Eoin McHugh also hit the target either side of a Rory Brennan point for Tyrone.

But in the second quarter Donegal took charge. Ryan McHugh was almost in for goal, but had to settle for a point before Michael Murphy converted a 46m free.

Even corner-back Paddy McGrath got in on the scoring, getting his second ever point for Donegal. Hugh McFadden also hit a long range effort before Ciaran Thompson brought the curtain down on the first half scoring with a magnificent effort with the outside of his left.

Sean Cavanagh had a point after 14 seconds of the restart but the game became fractious and there was a stoppage of a few minutes as both sides squared up to each other.

When it settled Donegal sub Cian Mulligan landed a great score and Ryan McHugh added another with little back lift.

The game took another twist in the 55th minute when Paddy McGrath was black card after a tussle with Peter Harte.

Scores were precious in the difficult conditions but Hugh McFadden pushed Donegal seven clear, 0-12 to 0-5 with 57 minutes gone.

There was a brief scare when a Donegal kick-out was blocked by Marty O’Reilly got back to save the day.

The win keeps Donegal great record in Ballybofey, their 17th game on the trot at the venue unbeaten.

DONEGAL: M A McGinley; P McGrath (0-01), N McGee, E Doherty; E Ban Gallagher, F McGlynn (0-01) Paul Brennan; M Murphy (0-01,f), C Thompson (0-03); M O’Reilly, E McHugh (0-01), R McHugh (0-02); M Carroll, H McFadden (0-02), J Brennan. Subs., C Mulligan (0-1) for McGlynn ht; M McHugh for McGrath, bcard 56; M McElhinney for McFadden 65; M Langan for P Brennan 65; B McCole for J Brennan 70; S McBrearty for E McHugh 75

TYRONE: M O’Neill; C McShane. R McNamee, C McCarron; T McCann, J McMahon, R Brennan (0-01); C Cavanagh, D McClure; N Sludden, K McGeary, P Harte (0-02,1f); M Bradley, S Cavanagh (0-03,2f), M Donnelly. Subs., P Hampsey for McClure; C Meyler for McShane, both ht; A McCrory for J McMahon 44; R O’Neill for Brennan 53; J Monroe for McCarron 59

REFEREE: D Coldrick (Meath)