MacNiallais goal not enough as Donegal lose to Tyrone

Goals either side of half-time the difference in Omagh

Tom Comack


Tom Comack


Tyrone v Donegal

Donegal's Leo McLoone gives a pass against Tyrone in Omagh on Saturday night. Photo Thomas Gallagher

Goals either side of half-time from Niall Sludden and Mark Bradley proved crucial as Tyrone saw off the challenge of Donegal in Saturday night's Allianz Division One meeting at Healy Park in Omagh.

Tyrone . . . 2-13

Donegal . . . 1-10

It's another disappointing defeat for Declan Bonner's side who remain firmly in relegation danger with just one win now from their five league games.

For Tyrone, it was sweet revenge for their recent Dr. McKenna Cup final defeat in Armagh.

Mickey Harte's side might not have been at their best for much of the first half, but they still went in ahead at the break, 1-5 to 0-7. Sludden scored their goal right on the stroke of half-time, and minutes after Peter Harte had fired a penalty wide of Shaun Patton's post.

Donegal, who had Ciaran Thompson in from the start in place of Patrick McBrearty, and Conor Morrison in for Paul Brennan, played well in the first half and there were some fine scores from Odhran MacNiallais, Eoghan Bán Gallagher and Michael Murphy.

They needed a good start to the second half, but instead it was Tyrone who were better after the restart and their first score of the half was a second goal, scored this time by Mark Bradley.

Donegal didn't score until the 18th minute of the second half, and this time they got right back into the game when MacNiallais palmed the ball home after good work by Gallagher.

That left just four points between them, 2-8 to 1-7 and suddenly it was game on again. Declan Bonner's side worked their way back to within two points of their opponents with Stephen McBrearty among their scorers.

But Tyrone were able to lift it again and they finished the game strong with a succession of well taken points to win by six points.

The victory gives them a timely boost in their battle for survival in Division One. For Donegal, they stay on two points, and all eyes will be on Sunday's meeting of Mayo and Kildare, both of whom are also in relegation trouble. 

DONEGAL: Shaun Patton; Conor Morrison, Stephen McMenamin, Eoghan Bán Gallagher (0-1); Tony McCleneghan, Caolan Ward, Eamon Doherty (0-1); Hugh McFadden (0-1), Odhran MacNiallais (1-2); Leo McLoone, Ryan McHugh, Mark McHugh (0-1); Ciaran Thompson, Michael Murphy (0-4, 3f), Jamie Brennan.

Subs: Daire O’Baoill for T McCleneghan and Martin McElhinney for C Thompson (both 43), Stephen McBrearty (0-1) for M McHugh 49; Frank McGlynn for C Ward 57; Niall O’Donnell for J Brennan 62, Michael Langan for MacNiallais 70.

TYRONE: Niall Morgan (0-1, 1f); Frank Burns, Hugh Pat McGeary, Cathal McCarron; Conor Meyler, Padraig Hampsey, Cathal McShane (0-1); Colm Cavanagh, Padraig McNulty; Mattie Donnelly, Niall Sludden (1-1), Peter Harte (0-1); Lee Brennan (0-4, 3f), Conor McAliskey (0-4, 4f),Mark Bradley (1-1). 
Subs:  Michael McKernan for H P McGeary 49, Ciaran McGeary for P McNulty 53; David Mulgrew for C McAliskey 62, Darren McCurry for M Bradley 66;  

REFEREE: David Coldrick (Meath)