Tyrone got their season of to a winning start when they had three points to spare over Donegal in a keenly contested encounter at Edendork on Sunday afternoon.
The Red Hands started like a house on fire as they blitzed the visitors in the opening dozen minutes as they established a 1-4 to 0-1 lead with Sean Cavanagh, Brian McGuigan and wing back Dermot Carlin among the points with Mark Donnelly first timing the ball to the net after a Martin Penrose effort had come back off the post. The rest of the half though belonged to Donegal with Dermot Molloy, Colm McFadden, Karl Lacey and Daniel McLaughlin all supplying points as they greeted the short whistle 0-10 to 1-6 in front. Tyrone were also down to fourteen men after Colm Cavanagh was straight red carded by referee Joe McQuillan in injury time.
In the second half Tyrone produced a superb performance to run out worthy winners. A Sean Cavanagh free quickly had the sides level before Aidan Cassidy weighed in with a brilliant point from out on the right wing. Five minutes into the second half Donegal were also reduced to fourteen men when full back Neil McGee was dismissed for a late challenge on McGuigan. Donnelly and Molloy exchanged points with Donegal keeper Paul Durkan denying Cavanagh a goal with a wonderful save.
McFadden reduced the deficit to the minimum but almost immediately McGuigan responded at the other end of the field before Cassidy got his second point of the afternoon when he fisted over the last score of the day ten minutes from time.
Tyrone – J Curran, A McCrory, C McCarron, M Swift, D Harte [0-1], R McMenamin [0-1], D Carlin [0-1], A Cassidy [0-2], S Cavanagh [0-3], C Cavanagh, B McGuigan [0-2], C Gervin, M Penrose [0-2], E McGinley, M Donnelly [1-1]. Subs – K Hughes for Gervin, P McNeice for Donnelly
Donegal – P Durkan, P McGrath, N McGee, K Mulhern, L Keeney, L McLoone [0-1], K Cassidy, R Kavanagh [0-1], C Classon, D McLaughlin [0-2], D Molloy [0-3], O MacNiallais [0-1], K Lacey [0-2], R McErlane [0-1], C McFadden [0-2]. Subs – F McGlynn for Kavanagh, A Hanlon for MacNiallais, O MacNiallais for McLaughlin