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Tyrone Lose Grip On McKenna Cup

Saturday 17.02.2018
Team Talk Mag


Tyrone 1-12 Donegal 1-16

Tyrone’s six year grip on the Bank Of Ireland McKenna Cup title ended at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh on Saturday night when Donegal emerged worthy four point winners.


It was a good open game of football throughout with quality scores from both sides although both also missed numerous chances with Tyrone kicking eleven wides and Donegal posting thirteen. Both sides rested a number of regulars although Tyrone did spring the likes of Mattie Donnelly, Peter Harte and Niall Sludden from the bench while Donegal brought on All Ireland winning Captain Michael Murphy.


The sides shared the opening four points through Daire O’Baoill, Conal McCann, Ciaran Thompson and Kieran McGeary before Donegal moved 0-4 to 0-2 in front by the 7th minute thanks to efforts from Martin McElhinney and O’Baoill. Tyrone though then hit the front when McCann played the ball to Harry Loughran who first timed it to the net. Three minutes later Donegal got a goal of their own with McElhinney chipping the ball past keeper Mickey O’Neill soccer style.


Centre half back Paul Brennan ventured forward to split the posts before a Marty Reilly free made it 1-6 to 1-2. Ronan O’Neill was then denied a goal by Donegal keeper Shaun Patton before a superb effort from distance from midfielder Odhran MacNiallais stretched the winners’ advantage. Darren McCurry closed the gap before O’Neill had another goalbound shot saved. O’Neill and Reilly exchanged points before Tyrone full back Cathal McCarron got his name on the scoresheet. An O’Neill free with the last kick of the half cut the deficit to three at the short whistle, 1-9 to 1-6.


Declan McClure and Niall O’Donnell exchanged points on the restart before three in a row from the boot of O’Neill left it all square with eleven minutes of the second period played. Tyrone looked to be on top at this stage but Donegal hit back with substitutes O’Donnell [2] and Murphy both on target.


O’Neill and Loughran trimmed the gap to the minimum but they failed to score again in the final twelve minutes plus injury time. Brennan landed a second point from play with Murphy knocking over two frees either side of Tyrone losing Mattie Donnelly to a second yellow card offence.


Tyrone – Mickey O’Neill, Aidan McCrory, Cathal McCarron, Brendan Burns, Michael Cassidy, Ronan McNabb, Kieran McGeary, Padraig Hampsey, Ben McDonnell, Declan McClure, Harry Loughran, Conal McCann, Darren McCurry, Ronan McHugh, Ronan O’Neill. Subs: Mattie Donnelly for Cassidy, Peter Harte for McGeary, Cathal McShane for McClure, Conor Meyler for McDonnell, Hugh Pat McGeary for McCrory, Niall Sludden for Loughran


Donegal – Shaun Patton, Stephen McMenamin, Conor Morrison, Frank McGlynn, Eamonn Doherty, Paul Brennan, Daire O’Baoill, Odhran MacNiallais, Hugh McFadden, Ciaran Thompson, Martin McElhinney, Mark McHugh, Caolan McGonigle, Stephen McBrearty, Marty Reilly. Subs: Niall O’Donnell for McBrearty, Nathan Mullins for Reilly, Michael Murphy for McElhinney, Caolan Ward for McGlynn, Brendan McCole for McGonigle, Neil McGee for Doherty


Tyrone scorers – Ronan O’Neill 0-6 [5f], Harry Loughran 1-1, Cathal McCarron 0-1, Kieran McGeary 0-1, Declan McClure 0-1, Conal McCann 0-1, Darren McCurry 0-1


Donegal scorers – Martin McElhinney 1-1, Niall O’Donnell 0-3, Michael Murphy 0-3 [2f], Daire O’Baoill 0-2, Paul Brennan 0-2, Marty Reilly 0-2, Frank McGlynn 0-1, Odhran MacNiallais 0-1, Ciaran Thompson 0-1


Referee – Barry Cassidy, Derry



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