The vital Donegal goal from Eoin De Burca. Photo Geraldine Diver
Donegal are Buncrana Cup champions once again after a five year lapse following tonight’s one point win over arch rivals Tyrone in Buncrana.
Donegal . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-13
Tyrone . . . . . . . . . . . . .1-12
In another epic Donegal, Tyrone clash even though there was only a point in it at the finish Donegal, over the 60 plus minutes, were the better side.
Daniel Fullerton converted a 64th minute penalty to reduce the margin to one, before referee Mark McGeehan, blew the final whistle from the kickout.
Eoin De Burca scored the game’s decisive score, a goal just before half-time to send Donegal in five up at the break, 1-6 to 0-4.
That was after Donegal had started well and with Eric Carr carving early openings, they hit the game’s first four points.
Carr hit two of them, one from a free and the other a peach of a strike on the run, while Luke Doherty nailed two medium range frees.
That was all inside the opening 11 minutes. Donegal lost centre half-back, Jack Gallagher, to injury after seven minutes. He was replaced St Eunan’s Kieran Tobin.
After the initial Donegal flurry, Tyrone settled and came more into the game. Full-forward Mark Devlin began to make his mark and he knocked over two points in the space of a minute on 12 and 13 minutes to get the Red Hands up and running.
Devlin, an All-Ireland B winner with Holy Trinity, was proving a real handful. But Rory Kavanagh took remedial action; Jamie Grant replaced Shane Meehan at full-back.
And while Tyrone added two more points courtesy of Shea Browne, the Devlin threat seemed to have been tamed and Donegal still led 0-5 to 0-4, before Burke was picked out by a dinky ball over the top of Tyrone last line of defence, to land the ball in De Burca’s hands.
And the Gaoth Dobhair man finished with aplomb for a 1-5 to 0-4 lead.
Shane Browne and Luke Doherty (both from frees) added points to send Donegal in five up.
Tyrone with four points to Donegal’s one (from Carr) cut the lead to three points by the 42nd minute.
But Donegal pulled away again thanks to super strikes from Daithi Roberts and Luke Doherty from long range frees.
Tyrone, chasing the gam,e reduced the margin to two, with a little over a minute of normal time remaining.
But Kealan Dunleavy and man of the match Carr restored Donegal’s four point advantage in injury time, before the late drama and penalty.
DONEGAL: Daithi Roberts (0-1,f); Richard O’Rourke, Shane Meehan, Dylan Dorrian; Eoin de Burca (1-0), Jack Gallagher, Domhnall Mac Giolla Bhride; Eoin Dowling (0-1), Kealan Dunleavy (0-1); Carlos O’Reilly (0-1), Senan Rooney, Ciaran Moore; Johnny McGroddy, Luke Doherty (0-4,1f), Eric Carr (0-5,3f). Subs: Kieran Tobin for Gallagher 7 inj, Jamie Grant for S Meehan 15, Connor Roarty for Dorrian (55).
TYRONE: Stephen McMenamin; Seamus Sweeney, Caolan Mulgrew, Niall Devlin; Packie Quinn, Shea Daly (0-1), Brian Conway; Michael McGleenan, Micheal McCann; Aaron McGrath, Daniel Fullerton (1-5, 1-0 pen, 5f), Eoin Montgomery; Ronan McHugh (0-2), Mark Devlin (0-1), Shea Browne (0-2f). Subs: Ethan Neill (0-1) for P Quinn 39, Shea Gallagher for A McGrath 46, Rory Burns for E Montgomery 46.
REFEREE: Mark McGeehan (Derry)