Ulster U-17 McGuigan Cup final

Donegal go down to well drilled Tyrone

Oisin Bonner top-scored for Donegal with three points

Tom Comack


Tom Comack



Donegal failed to win back the McGuigan Cup as Tyrone ran out comfortable winners in Saturday's final in Glen, Maghera, County Derry.

Tyrone 0-15

Donegal 0-7

The margin in the end was a bit flattering to Tyrone who scored three injury time points as Donegal finally gave up their brave second half fight.

There was no denying Tyrone were the better side and they stamped their authority on the game from very early.

Jamie Crawford score a dramatic goal when they met in the league to snatch a one point win for Donegal in Garvaghey. Donegal won an evenly contested tie that day, 1-7 to 0-9.

However, on Saturday, Tyrone led by five points at half-time and were full value for their 0-8 to 0-3 advantage.

Oisin Bonner got Donegal off to a bright start with the game's opening score on the three minute mark.

But Tyrone, who played with a packed defence, hit Donegal on the break and posted the game's next four scores. Aaron Montgomery, Thomas Hoy, Ruairi Slane and Cormac Donaghy raised white flags for the Red Hands - all from play - to lead 0-4 to 0-1 after 12 minutes.

Donegal at this stage, thanks to the good work of Jamie Crawford and Cian Doherty in the middle of the field, were enjoying a fair share of possession.

But but the dangermen up front of Conor O'Donnell, Mark McAteer, Oisin Bonner and Dan Gallagher got little change out of a tenacious and tight-marking Tyrone rearguard.

Bonner did add Donegal's second point on 13 minutes, but the boys from the North West had to wait until 27 minutes for their next score. Mark McAteer converted from a close in free to bring the margin down to three, 0-6 to 0-3.

But points from Carney and Michael Murnahan sent Tyrone in front by five at the interval.

Donegal did step up on the resumption but despite the best efforts of Shane O'Donnell, Ben Bradley and McAteer, they could not make inroads on the Tyrone lead.

McAteer, Bradley, O'Donnell and Bonner hit the points as Donegal matched Tyrone score for score.

But the margin was still five, 0-12 to 0-7, with three minutes of normal time remaining and before Tyrone sunk the dagger with late injury time points from Liam Gray and second half substitute Ethan Jordan. Jordan had won an Ulster Minor League medal earlier in the day, when Tyrone defeated Derry.

Tyrone were the more cohesive and a better drilled outfit.  And Donegal have a lot of work to do if they are going to turn the tables on the Red Hands when they meet in two week's time in the inaugural Ulster U-17 Championship.

Donegal; Eoin O'Boyle; Kealan McMonagle, James Kelly, Cian Doherty; Odhran Duggan, Conor O'Donnell (Dungloe), Shane O'Donnell (0-1); Ciaran Doherty, Jamie Crawford; Oisin Bonner (0-3,1,f), Ben Bradley (0-1), Peter McEniff;  Dan Gallagher, Mark McAteer(0-2, 2,f), Conor O'Donnell.

Subs;Shane McDaid for C O'Donnell(Dungloe), 39; Ian Campbell for  J Crawford, 44; Matthew McKenna for D Gallagher, 47; Dan Gallagher for C O'Donnell, 54.

Tyrone; Jack Gibney; Conor Ward, Matthew McCusker, Ronan Hollywood; Tarlach Quinn (0-1); Cormac Munroe, Ruari Slane (0-1); Matthew Murnahan (0-1), Ben Gormley; Liam Conlon, Aaron Montgomery (0-1), Cormac Donaghy (0-3); Michael Carney (0-4,2,f), Nathan Connolly, Thomas Hoy (0-1).

Subs;Ethan Jordan (0-2) for L Conlon, 38; Oisin McHugh for B Gormley, 48; Liam Gray (0-1) for M Carney, 62.

REFEREE; Kevin Faloon (Armagh).