Discipline and inaccuracy cost Donegal Ulster final place

Eirgrid Ulster U-21 semi-final

Discipline and inaccuracy cost Donegal Ulster final place

Donegal will look back on Wednesday night's Eirgrid Ulster U-21 semi-final and wonder how they lost by four points to Tyrone.

Tyrone 1-15

Donegal 2-8

In the perfect example of the game of two halves, Donegal should have been out of sight at half-time and were made pay the price in the second half.

They didn't help themselves when they lost two players to red cards midway through the second period, which allowed Tyrone to lift their game and really punish Donegal.

The frustration was evident at the final whistle when there was a coming together of players and officials from both sides, but thankfully it was quelled.

There was history between the counties after the minor game last year in Ballybofey.

Donegal lost two players in five minutes - Stephen McMenamin and Bruce Waldron between the 44th and 49th minutes. At the same time, Donegal also lost Caolan McGonigle to a black card with Waldron replacing him but only lasting four minutes on the field.

Tyrone then took complete control to fire six unanswered points and but for a late penalty from Stephen McBrearty, the margin at the finish would have been greater.

It could have been different though as Donegal should have been much further in front at half-time than 0-6 to 0-4 after being completely on top.

Donegal should have had three points on the board before Tyrone opened the scoring on four minutes through Mark Kavanagh. Lee Brennan added a second Tyrone point from a free a minute later but they were not to score again until the 26th minute.

Donegal eventually found the range and were ahead by the 11th minute through Stephen McBrearty, Christian Bonner and a Ciaran Thompson free.

Andrew McClean was almost in for a goal before Tyrone lost midfielder Ben McDonnell to what seemed a harsh black card on 16 minutes.

Stephen McBrearty and Conor O'Donnell pushed Donegal three ahead before Sean Fox got Tyrone's third score.

Just before half-time Stephen McBrearty and Cathal McShane converted frees for their respective sides.

Within 10 seconds of the restart, Donegal had the best goal chance of the game with Jamie Brennan in on goal but he elected to shoot rather than round the 'keeper and Sean Fox made a good save.

Tyrone closed the gap and then the sides exchanged goals. Ryan Coleman reacted after a high ball came back off a post to fire to the net, but four minutes later Conor Doherty found the Tyrone net. But when Donegal were reduced to 13, they were made rue their first half misses.

Donegal: D Rodgers; C Morrison, K Gillespie, J O'Brien; E Ban Gallagher, C O'Donnell (0-1), E McGrath; C McGonagle, S McMenamin; C Bonner (0-1), C Thompson (0-1,f), A McClean; S McBrearty (1-5,1-0 pen,3f), M Carroll, J Brennan. Subs., C Doherty (1-0) for Brennan 32; M Coyle for Bonner 37; B Waldron for McGonigle, bcard 43; C Mulligan for McClean 45; A Neely for O'Donnell 53; J Scally for O'Brien 57

Tyrone: S Fox; C McCann, P Teague, S Hamill; C Byrne, S Loughran (0-1), M O'Neill; C McShane (0-2,1f), B McDonnell; M Kavanagh (0-2), F Burns (0-1) D Mulgrew; L Brennan (0-5,3f), R Coleman (1-2), S Fox (0-1). Subs., M McKernan for Teague 14; J Harkin for McDonnell, bcard 20; R McGlone for O'Neill 53; S O'Donnell (0-1) for Kavanagh 58; R McGeary for Fox, bcard 59

Referee: B Cassidy (Derry)