Donegal 1-16 Tyrone 0-15: Impressive Tír Chonaill march into Ulster final
Last Updated: 09/06/19 10:09am
Donegal are through to the Ulster final, after a 1-16 to 0-15 victory over Tyrone in Kingspan Breffni.
Declan Bonner's side were out for revenge after their Ballybofey defeat in the Super 8s last year, and went about their business right from the off.
They got off to a hugely impressive start. A fifth-minute goal from Jamie Brennan stunned the Red Hands, as a piercing team move tore through the heart of the Tyrone defence.
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Mickey Harte had set up his side offensively, and the Donegal forwards were enjoying the resulting wide open spaces. Brennan followed up his goal with two quickfire points, and after Peter Harte was shown a black card, Tyrone found themselves in a real hole.
As the half wore on, Donegal began to spread their wings. Brennan and Michael Murphy were wreaking havoc, and the Red Hands were struggling to keep tabs on their neighbours.
Indeed, it could have been much worse for the 2018 All-Ireland finalists, had Brennan not hit the upright with a fierce shot on goal, after being played in by Paddy McBrearty.
Nonetheless, Donegal were full value for their 1-9 to 0-5 lead at the break.
Try as they might, Tyrone could not claw their way back into the tie. Niall Morgan and Cathal McShane did chip in from placed balls, but the Donegal forwards kept the scoreboard ticking over.
McBrearty missed the Super 8s meeting between the sides last year, but he had a huge impact in the second half as the game was in the melting pot. The Kilcar club man showed his class with three eye-catching scores to keep Tyrone at bay.
As the clock ticked deep into the six minutes of injury-time, Tyrone finished with a flourish and threatened a comeback. A driving run from Richie Donnelly was capped as he fired over the bar, and Michael Cassidy rifled a fierce shot goalwards, but it went just over the bar.
With three points between the teams, Stephen McMenamin fisted over an insurance score to seal the four-point victory.
Donegal will face either Cavan or Armagh in the provincial final, while Tyrone will enter the qualifiers in the second round, learning their opponents on Monday morning.