There was massive disappointment for Mickey Harte’s senior team this evening in Clones when they lost out by two (0-12 to 0-10) against a very well organised and very physical Donegal team. Tyrone had matched the Tir Chonnail men toe for toe throughout an intriguing first thirty five minutes and reached the break one up courtesy of Martin Penrose’s fine finish.
The Red Hand County began the second half well with fine points from Joe Mc Mahon and Dermot Carlin but that was as good as it got for Tyrone. Donegal suffocated the life out of the game and hit five points in a row holding Tyrone scoreless into the bargain for twenty five minutes. Donegal dominated break ball and Tyrone found it almost impossible to break through the Donegal defence. Jim Mc Guinness’s side looked all set for a four point win before a late Tyrone surge put them in sight of snatching a draw. With time running out the ball came to Martin Penrose who skipped inside and shot for goal only to see the despairing foot of Donegal goalkeeper Paul Durcan deflect the ball onto the post. Team captain Stevie O’Neill also came agonisingly close to finding the net as he got on the end of a Joe Mc Mahon pass. Sadly for Tyrone the final whistle sounded and Tyrone were left to reflect on a disappointing defeat and exit from the Ulster Championship.
For Tyrone it is now the qualifying route while Donegal can look forward to making it consecutive Ulster titles when they take on Down in the July decider.