Ulster U-17 Football Championship

Donegal suffer a heavy defeat at the hands of Tyrone

Tom Comack


Tom Comack



Donegal U-17 team

Donegal U-17 team

Donegal’s Ulster dream is on life support following Saturday evening's 14-point defeat by rampant Tyrone  in Ballybofey.

DONEGAL ……… 1-10 


Tyrone, the reigning Ulster and All-Ireland champions, were much the better side. They led by five points at half-time, 2-7 to 1-5, and they were out of sight early in the second half as Donegal struggled all over the field. 

The champions were more clinical in attack and any time they ran at the Donegal defence, they created problems and opened up the Donegal rearguard far too easy. 

Full forward Mark Hayes and midfielder Tarlach Quinn scored the first-half goals and Hayes, Michael McGlennan and Cormac McBride raised the second half green flags. 

Hayes, who was red-hot at full forward, and also posted three points in the opening half, hit the first of the goals on 16 minutes.

The big number 14 left a number of Donegal defenders in his wake before giving Corey Byrne no chance in the Donegal goals.

Donegal had performed well in the opening ten minutes with Pauric McGettigan, a surprise inclusion after being sidelined with a broken wrist for a number of weeks, Senan Rooney, Shane Gillespie and Shane O’Donnell showing well for Donegal. 

And thanks to points from Nathan Byrne, 0’Donnell and McGettigan, Donegal came from behind to lead 0-3 to 0-2 after 11 minutes.

But Donegal did not score again for 14 minutes as Hayes and company cut loose to open up a 1-5 to 0-3 lead. Daniel Fullerton (2), Hayes and Oran Mulgrew scored the Tyrone points.

A touch of Shane O’Donnell brilliance and a one two with Leo Dunphy produced a super goal and got Donegal back in the game. 

And thanks to two super strikes from McGettigan, Donegal were back to within a point of the Red Hands who led 1-6 to 1-5, on the half hour mark.

But Tyrone stamped their authority in injury time with a brilliant goal from Tarlach Quinn and a point from Mark Hayes. Tyrone led 2-7 to 1-5 at half-time.

Donegal, through Shane Gillespie, scored the first point on the resumption, but normal service was quickly resumed and a second Mark Hayes goal on 37 minutes opened the floodgates.

And by the time Michael McGlennan, son of Mattie, raised Tyrone’s fourth green flag on 51 minutes the margin was out to 12 points, as Tyrone led 4-10 to 1-7.

And the game fizzled out with Tyrone adding a fifth goal through wing-back Cormac  McBride and points from Hayes and Shane Murphy.

Nathan Byrne, Shane Gillespie and Shane O’Donnell scored late points for a demoralised Donegal who now have to take the Qualifiers route if they are to progress in the championship. The draw for the Qualifiers was due to take place in Newry on Saturday night.

Donegal: Corey Byrne; Aaron Gillooley, Cillian Gildea, Seamus Og Byrne; Caolan Gallagher, Shane Gillespie (0-2), Anthony Doherty; Rory O’Donnell, Padraig McGettigan (0-3); Senan Rooney, Shane O’Donnell (1-2), Steven McFadden; Eric Carr, Nathan Byrne (0-2), Leo Dunphy. Subs: Jamie Grant for  C Gallagher 30; Jonny Toye for McFadden half-time; Josh Conlon (0-1f) for Dunphy h/t, Dylan Doogan for E Carr 41, Eoin Doherty for A. Doherty, (black card, 45), Michael Coughlan for Rooney 58.

TYRONE: Mark McGale; Cormac Quinn, Lorcan McBride, Lorcan Kilpatrick; Ronan Duffin, Kevin Barker, Cormac McBride (1-0); Tarlach Quinn (1-0), Michael McGleenan (1-1, 1f); Oran Mulgrew (0-1), Oisin McHugh, Ben Groogan (0-1); Daniel Fullerton (0-3, 3f), Mark Hayes (2-4), Tiernan Mackle (0-1).

Subs: Mark Devlin for Mackle, 41, Shane Murphy (0-1) for D Fullerton 46; Simon McGarrity for B Groogan 48; Conall Devlin for C McBride 52;  Paddy McCallan for C Quinn, 53, Shea Daly for O McHugh 57.

REFEREE: Kevin Faloon (Armagh).