At the second time of asking Tyrone picked up their first points of the season in the National football league thanks to a comfortable double scores success over Donegal at Healy Park on Sunday afternoon.
The Red Hands were eager to make up for the disappointing loss in Roscommon seven days earlier and it showed as they took the game to the visitors straight from the throw in. Despite playing against the wind Tyrone had three points on the board inside the opening eight minutes and that margin still separated the two sides at the interval, 0-6 to 0-3. In the second half the Red Hands comfortably kept the visitors at arms length in a good all round display which will come as a timely boost ahead of a tough away game in Tuam against Galway in two weeks time.
Darragh Canavan finished off a sweeping move with the game’s opening point in the 4th minute and sixty seconds later Niall Devlin slipped the ball inside to Brian Kennedy who burst through to split the posts with his weaker left foot. Tyrone had made the start that they were looking for and Darren McCurry punished a foul on Edendork clubmate Conn Kilpatrick to convert the resulting twenty metre free for a three point advantage. Jamie Brennan then opened Donegal’s account with a fine score before McCurry and Jeaic McKelvey traded points. Conor O’Donnell then left just the minimum between the sides but that was as close as Donegal were to get and it also proved to be their last score of the first half. Man of the match Frank Burns kicked a wonderful point before defender Cormac Munroe got forward to have the last say of the half. Tyrone were full value for their three point interval lead although they did have Kennedy to thank for clearing a McKelvey shot off the line in the 25th minute.
Two minutes into the second half Donegal Captain Paddy McBrearty won and converted a mark but that proved to be his only score of the game and just before the hour mark he had to go off injured. Cathal McShane scored a mark before McCurry converted another free. McCurry found the range again before a good move resulted in a well taken Canavan point. Tyrone now had their tails up and while Donegal replied through O’Donnell there looked only one winner at this stage.
A diagonal ball picked out Canavan for another quality score before McCurry and Brennan exchanged points. Team Captain Paudie Hampsey then got forward to kick an inspirational point from distance with the outside of his boot before McCurry and half back Cormac Quinn tagged on points. Hugh McFadden and substitute Joel Walsh had late scores for Donegal but sandwiched in between was another Mccurry free as Tyrone won with plenty to spare.
Tyrone: N Morgan; M McKernan, C Munroe (0-1), P Hampsey (0-1); C Quinn (0-1), P Harte, N Devlin; C Kilpatrick, B Kennedy (0-1); F Burns (0-1), K McGeary, C Meyler; C McShane (0-1, 1M), D McCurry (0-7, 6F, 1M), D Canavan (0-3). Subs: N Sludden for Canavan, M Donnelly for Quinn, R Donnelly for Sludden, E McNabb for McCurry, N McCarron for McGeary
Donegal: S Patton; M Curran, B McCole, C Ward; C McColgan, S McMenamin, J McKelvey (0-1); C McGonagle, J McGee; J McGroddy, D Ó Baoill, C O’Donnell (0-2); H McFadden (0-1), P McBrearty (0-1, 1M), J Brennan (0-2, 1M). Subs: P Mogan for McKelvey, J Grant for McGroddy, J Bradley Walsh (0-1) for McBrearty, B O’Donnell for McColgan