Donegal hit by soft goals as Tipperary put them to the sword in Thurles


Jeddy Walsh


Jeddy Walsh

Donegal hit by soft goals as Tipperary put them to the sword in Thurles

Jamie Brennan . . . had penalty saved

Donegal gifted goals to Tipperary and paid the price in Thurles as they tasted defeat for the first time.

Tipperary 3-9
Donegal 0-13

Donegal supporters outnumbered the home side by four to one in the attendance of 1.403, but they went home very disappointed as Donegal faded in the final quarter.
Up to that Donegal were dominant and cruising but after Tipperary struck for goal number two in the second half, the visitors crumbled.
The second and third goals were disasters from a Donegal point of view and while they were lucky in the opening two games, their luck ran out this time.
Donegal can point to a missed penalty in the first half, but overall, they can have no complaints as Tipperary dominated around the midfield and found the Donegal soft spot, down the middle.
Oisin Gallen won a 'forward mark' after a good pass from Ryan McHugh and Gallen put Donegal on the scoreboard with less than a minute played.
But Tipperary hit back within seconds with Steven O'Brien powered through from midfield to fire to the Donegal net
Ciaran Thompson had Donegal's second point and after a Caolan McGonagle effort was deflected for a '45' Donegal played it short for Michael Langan to level the scores on seven minutes. Langan had the chance to put Donegal ahead but he was wide by a free.
After the Donegal defence was threatened down the middle again, Eoghan Bán Gallagher got forward to set up Niall O'Donnell to edge his side ahead.
Philip Austin levelled matters but Michael Langan fired over after a good break and creative work by Niall O'Donnell.
Austin levelled matters again after Ciaran Thompson won and pointed a free at the end of the first quarter. But again Tipperary hit back with Donegal giving away a needless free and Conor Sweeney had the easy task from 20m in front of the goals.
Niall O'Donnell, very much to the fore, created an opening for Jamie Brennan and the Bundoran man fired over and he repeated the feat a minute later when Donegal executed a turnover.
The gap was out to three when Ciaran Thompson added another with 26 minutes on the clock.
Brian Fox cut the deficit after a great run from his own defence on the half hour but Donegal then were awarded a penalty after a high ball from Ciaran Thompson and Hugh McFadden and Caolan McGonagle were inside and McFadden was fouled. However, Jamie Brennan's penalty was saved by the Tipperary 'keeper.
Oisin Gallen had Donegal three ahead again after good running by Tony McClenaghan and it remained like that to the half-time whistle - Donegal 0-10, Tipperary 1-4.
Donegal had a goal chance inside seven minutes of the restart with Niall O'Donnell denied. Tipperary had four wides as Leo McLoone came on for his 99th appearance.
McLoone made an impact as he won a free with almost 15 minutes on the second half clock for Michael Langan to clip over the first score of the half.
But then Donegal coughed up a very soft goal as a free from Liam McGrath was allowed to drop and it ended in the Donegal net with 55 minutes on the clock.
Oisin Gallen responded with a good point but Tipperary fired over a point to leave the minimum between the sides again. Philip Austin had the chance to level matters but his effort tailed wide.
Stephen McMenamin did well to help Donegal win a free and Ciaran Thompson put Donegal two clear on the 60th minute. But the Donegal nerves were on edge again when Brian Fox cut the lead with six minutes left.
A misplaced pass from Eoin McHugh left the Donegal centre open and Liam Casey drifted through to fire home a third goal. Casey added a point seconds later and suddenly Tipperary were three ahead with three minutes left.
Tipperary almost had a fourth goal as the game went into added time with Shaun Patton deflecting Conor Sweeney's effort over the bar.
Steven O'Brien availed of another turnover in midfield to fire over and suddenly Tipperary were five clear.

Scorers - Donegal: Ciaran Thompson 0-4,2f, 1 sideline; Oisin Gallen 0-3, 1m; Michael Langan 0-3,1f; Jamie Brennan 0-2, Niall O'Donnell 0-1
Tipperary:  Liam Casey 1-1; Steven O'Brien 1-1; Liam McGrath 1-0,f; Philip Austin 0-2; Brian Fox 0-2; Conor Sweeney 0-2,1f; Liam Boland 0-1

DONEGAL: Shaun Patton; Stephen McMenamin, Brendan McCole, Eoghan Ban Gallagher; Ryan McHugh, Caolan Ward, Tony McClenaghan; Hugh McFadden, Michael Langan; Caolan McGonagle, Ciaran Thompson, Niall O'Donnell; Jamie Brennan, Jason McGee, Oisin Gallen. Subs., Leo McLoone for J McGee 45; Eoin McHugh for McClenaghan 48; Martin McElhinney for Gallen 65; Paul Brennan for McMenamin 70
TIPPERARY: Michael O'Reilly; Alan Campbell, John Meagher, Emmett Moloney, Kevin Fahey Daire Brennan, Jimmy Feehan; Steven O’Brien, Jack Kennedy; Philip Austin, Liam Casey, Brian Fox; Kevin O'Halloran, Conor Sweeney, Liam McGrath.
Liam Boland for O’Halloran 51; Colm O’Shaughnessy for Feehan 58; Conal Kennedy for Jack Kennedy (66)Dan O’Meara for Austin 74; Paddy Codd for Fahey 75.

REFEREE: Brendan Cawley (Kildare).