Ciaran Mathewson scored a sensational last-minute goal to win the Lory Meagher Cup for Donegal at Croke Park.

The men from t north-west had lost the lat two finals, and appeared to be heading for a third defeat when they struck gold right at the death.

Tyrone were clinging on to a slender two points lead when Mathewson grabbed his second goal of the afternoon, and there was no way back for the NHL Division Four champions.

Pictured below: Donegal players celebrate Ciaran Mathewson's last-minute goal.

Tyrone got on top early on, hitting the front with a couple of neat Rory O’Neill points, but Donegal kept in touch through Mickey McCann and Niall Campbell, who floated over a free from halfway.

Donegal pressed, but their finishing fell short of what was required, and they came up against some solid defending from Stephen Donnelly and Damien Maguire.

The Red hands pulled clear with four points in the spin,, two of them from Aidan Kelly, but Tir Chonaill struck for a goal in the 20th minute when Ciaran Mathewson collected a long delivery from the back to smash the sliothair to the net.

Mathewson tagged on a couple of points to narrow the gap to a single point, and Niall Campbell levelled from a free in the 32nd minute.

And two more Campbell points helped Donegal go in at the break with a 1-7 to 0-8 lead.

The sides were level by the 44th minute, with Justin Kelly and substitute Peter O’Connor hitting the target for resurgent Tyrone.

But Donegal, with wing backs Jamesie Donnelly and Joe Boyle performing heroics, responded with another spell of compelling hurling.

Campbell drilled over two more frees, and midfielders Joe Sheridan and Sean McVeigh edged them back in front with long range points.

Once again, Tyrone took control, and a volley of quality scores from Conro Grogan and O’Connor had them level.

Justin Kelly fired over two scores to open up a two points lead, but there was high drama to come, when Enda McDermott sent in a searching delivery which was collected by Mathewson, who blasted home the winning goal.

Donegal scorers: C Mathewson 2-3, N Campbell 0-6, 4f, 1 ’65), M McCann, S McVeigh, P Sheridan 0-1 each.

Tyrone scorers: J Kelly 0-5 (3f), A Kelly (2f), C Grogan, P O’Connor 0-3 each, R O’Neill (0-02), G Fox 0-1.

Donegal: P O’Brien, S O’Connor, C Breathnach, A McDermott, J Donnelly, C Dowds, J Boyle, S McVeigh, P Sheridan, E Organ, S Boyle, C Mathewson, M McCann, E McDermott, N Campbell.

Subs: P Hannigan for Organ, L Henderson for McCann, M McGhee for S Boyle

Tyrone: J Devlin, Ryan O’Neill, D Maguire, R Winters, SP Begley, S Donnelly, M Grogan, C Gallagher, M O’Gorman, G Fox, J Kelly, A Kelly, C McErlean, Rory O’Neill, C Grogan.

Subs: P O’Connor for McErlean, T Hughes for O’Gorman, M Winters for A Kelly

Referee: F Smith (Meath)