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Ulster SFC Tyrone 0-10 Donegal 0-12

Saturday 30.06.2012
Team Talk Mag
Club


Tyrone’s Ulster championship campaign ends in disappointment with a 0-12 to 0-10 defeat, but it could have been so much different if Martin Penrose’s shot hadn’t been saved so spectacularly in the final moments after he had dummied his marker superbly to create the chance for himself. Tyrone fought well to the end to get the margin down to two points, and came so close to snatching a dramatic result, but the harm was done during the second half as they lost their way for a considerable spell and conceded five points in a row to their opponents, who turned a 0-8 to 0-7 deficit into a decisive 0-12 to 0-8 lead. Ultimately Donegal probably deserved their victory but there was some promise shown by Tyrone today and many of their players have a lot more in them than they showed today. So that’s it for Ulster anyway, but hopefully this championship journey is far from over and we can build on this performance through the back door. Interestingly, Tyrone had more defenders on target today than forwards, an indication of the tactical encounter it was, and despite the fact that there were as many as eight Tyrone marksmen, there was still no scoring contribution from the likes of Owen Mulligan or Peter Harte. The Tyrone scorers were Stephen O’Neill (0-2), Joe McMahon (0-2), Martin Penrose (0-1), Conor Clarke (0-1), Dermot Carlin (0-1), Conor Gormley (0-1), Sean O’Neill (0-1), Mark Donnelly (0-1).

WHAT A SAVE! A wonderful piece of play by Martin Penrose almost yields a dramatic equalising goal but a magnificent save by Durkan denies Tyrone – the ensuing ’45’ brings a point from Conor Gormley but time runs out and Donegal can thank their keeper for that unbelievable stop with his outstrecthed left boot in the dying seconds! Tyrone 0-10 Donegal 0-12…

Conor Clarke drills the ball between the sticks after collecting a ’45’ but the play is called back as the referee sends off Colm McFadden for his second yellow card offence – from the retaken ’45’ the ball makes its way to Stephen O’Neill and he swings the ball over the bar. Is there hope for Tyrone? A goal would bring them level and they have an extra man for the last few minutes – we’ll have three additional minutes here. Tyrone 0-9 Donegal 0-12…

Aidan Cassidy and Niall McKenna are sent into the action by Mickey Harte for the closing stages, with Mark Donnelly and Ryan McMenamin going off, but as a Tyrone ’45’ sails wide the Donegal men appear to have a grip on this contest now. Tyrone haven’t scored since the fifth minute of the second half and have only mustered two points in total since half time, and just one from open play from a defender. Tyrone 0-8 Donegal 0-12…

It is now looking like Tyrone are on their way out of the Ulster championship as things start to open up for Donegal, Colm McFadden finding the target with a great strike, Donegal’s fifth point in a row. It’s going to take something special for Tyrone to turn this around now because all the momentum is with the Ulster champions as we head towards the last five minutes. Tyrone 0-8 Donegal 0-12…

The game isn’t flowing the way it was earlier and scoring chances aren’t coming as often, certainly not for Tyrone anyway, although Karl Lacey slots the ball neatly between the posts to give Donegal a healthy three point lead. Is this match slipping away from Tyrone, as Brian McGuigan comes in for Mattie Donnelly? Tyrone 0-8 Donegal 0-11…

Stevie O’Neill misses a wonderful opportunity to bring Tyrone level, maybe even give them a two point lead, as his shot flashes across the face of the Donegal goal after he collects a long delivery from Ronan McNabb who tries to find the target from out the field. Tyrone are then made to pay as Michael Murphy adds another pointed free to his tally, leaving Donegal two in front with ten minutes to go. Tyrone 0-8 Donegal 0-10…

The crowd of over 17,000 are bracing themselves for a close finish with neither side able to establish any significant advantage so far. Tyrone have prevented Donegal from increasing their lead but will need to produce a scoring response soon as the match sees far more stoppages than earlier. Still 0-9 to 0-8 in Donegal’s favour with 13 minutes of normal time remaining…

Donegal are in front for the first time since the opening minutes as Ryan Bradley shoots them into a 0-9 to 0-8 lead with 48 minutes gone. Donegal appear to be raising their efforts here and Tyrone will need to stay with them as the rain comes down quite heavily. Ronan McNabb is brought in by Mickey Harte as Owen Mulligan is called ashore. Tyrone 0-8 Donegal 0-9…

It’s no big surprise at this juncture that the teams are on level terms yet again, for the seventh time now. Colm McFadden is the man who gets the latest Donegal equaliser from a nicely struck free kick. What are the odds on a draw! Tyrone 0-8 Donegal 0-8…

Less than five minutes after the restart we are treated to our fourth score of the half in Clones as Dermot Carlin pops over another classy score from play to edge the Red Hands back into the lead. This is an exciting start to the second period and Tyrone are still more than matching the Ulster champions. Tyrone 0-8 Donegal 0-7…

The Tyrone advantage is quickly wiped out as Rory Kavanagh shoots two superb scores inside a minute to leave the match finely balanced again after three minutes of the second half. We’re level for the sixth time. Tyrone 0-7 Donegal 0-7…

Tyrone are enjoying a two point cushion for the first time today as Joe McMahon launches the second half as he did the first, sending the ball sweetly between the Donegal posts with the outside of his right boot – he really makes these far out frees look easy! Tyrone 0-7 Donegal 0-5

As the teams get into position for the second half it’s worth mentioning the fact that Mickey Harte is hoping to guide the Red Hands into a sixth Ulster final during his time in charge – so far he’s enjoyed four Ulster final victories and just one defeat, following a replay against Armagh in 2005…

The match has certainly lived up to it’s pre-match billing as an intriguing tussle. There has been plenty of good defending and counter attacking from both teams, and it has certainly been a real tactical battle with both teams trying to shut out the opposition and get forward at high speed. Tyrone have been more adept so far at manufacturing space and scoring chances but there’s only a single point between the teams at the midway stage. Last year the Red Hands led the way for most of their semi-final clash with Donegal but were eventually overtaken in the closing stages following an injury to Joe McMahon. Joe is playing well again today and other Tyrone players who have caught the eye include Conor Clarke, Aidan McCrory, Sean O’Neill, Mark Donnelly and the ever industrious Penrose. Peter Harte and Mattie Donnelly have also done well in patches. Tyrone will be hoping to yield more scores from Stevie and Mugsy in the second half, although there’s not much space for the front duo, just as Murphy and McFadden have been kept quiet in open play by the Tyrone defence. That’s why we’re seeing some good scores from distance today.

Martin Penrose is putting in another great shift today and he deservedly gets his name on the scoresheet in the closing seconds of the first half as he polishes off a patient Tyrone build-up with a beautiful finish between the Donegal posts. It gives his side a merited half time advantage. Half Time score: Tyrone 0-6 Donegal 0-5…

Conor Clarke is playing a massive part in this Tyrone performance and he paves the way for Sean O’Neill to launch a wonderful shot between the posts to send the Red Hands back into the lead approaching half time, but Colm McFadden grabs yet another Donegal equaliser from a free kick to make it all square yet again – it’s the fifth time these teams have been level. Tyrone 0-5 Donegal 0-5…

Tyrone have definitely shaded the exchanges so far but we’re level for the fourth time today as the brilliant Michael Murphy curls over another excellent free kick to put the champions on level terms again with 29 minutes gone. Tyrone 0-4 Donegal 0-4…

What a brilliant passage of play involving two of the Tyrone new boys – Aidan McCrory gallops forward in great style and feeds the ball to fellow defender Conor Clarke who drills over a spectacular score from long distance, restoring Tyropne’s lead in the process. Tyrone 0-4 Donegal 0-3…

Tyrone are defending very well and breaking forward at pace, and Peter Harte seems to be growing in stature here as he earns a free kick which is sent narrowly wide by Martin Penrose, scorer of 0-8 last time against Armagh. Still 0-3 each after 23 minutes – not as many scores being recorded now but still entertaining fare in St Tiernach’s Park…

Donegal’s barren spell ends as McBrearty swings over an excellent score from long distance, levelling the match again. The match is currently being played at a high tempo and the ball is moving fast from one end of the field to the other. Fitness will have a big part to play in deternining who prevails. Tyrone 0-3 Donegal 0-3…

Tyrone are creating space really well against this renowned Donegal rearguard and the passing is slick as Joe McMahon breaks through and forces a good save out of the Donegal keeper, who then thwarts Mark Donnelly in the follow up play, with Peter Harte then missing the resulting ’45’. Tyrone are the more enterprising outfit at the moment, and still hold a narrow lead…

Peter Harte and Mattie Donnelly are getting into the game now and the latter hits a wide from out on the left after a promising run along the left flank, but the next Tyrone score promptly ensues as Mark Donnelly cuts inside superbly from the left wing and fists over a great score, making it 0-3 to 0-2 after 14 minutes. Tyrone doing well so far. Tyrone 0-3 Donegal 0-2…

Stevie O’Neill punches over an Owen Mulligan free kick but it’s disallowed for ‘square ball’. This is turning out to be a good end to end contest with both teams intent on getting scores on the board in the opening exchanges, so it’s promising to be a great semi-final tie here. Still 0-2 apiece with 11 minutes played…

We’ve already had four scores with less than eight minutes on the clock and all four have been delivered with a strong hint of class, Michael Murphy getting number four from a curling free kick to tie things up once again. Tyrone 0-2 Donegal 0-2…

In typical Joe McMahon fashion, the Omagh St Enda’s man lobs over a beauty from a long range free with five minutes played and within a minute Owen Mulligan creates the opportunity for Stephen O’Neill to knock over another classy score, giving Tyrone the lead with six minutes played. Exciting start to the action. Tyrone 0-2 Donegal 0-1…

Mark McHugh, son of Martin, gets the first score of the match here in Clones as he thumps over a brilliant long range point with almost four minutes gone. Tyrone 0-0 Doinegal 0-1…

Proceedings are unerway in Clones as Tyrone meet defending champions Donegal in the Ulster senior football championship semi-final, with the winners facing Down in the decider. There are three changes to the Tyrone team for this game and it’s a massive day for Conor Clarke and Mattie Donnelly who replace Justin McMahon and Ronan McNabb. Ryan McMenamin also starts in place of Cathal McCarron. This should be an intriguing contest…

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