Donegal booked their place in the Ulster SFC final with a 1-16 to 0-15 win over Tyrone at Kingspan Breffni Park.

Jamie Brennan’s goal and four Michael Murphy scores helped Donegal to a commanding 1-09 to 0-05 interval lead.

And the defending provincial champions closed the game out, with Paddy McBrearty, Ryan McHugh and Hugh McFadden all adding points. Cathal McShane top-scored for the Red Hands with 0-4.

The defending provincial champions squeezed their opponents out of the game with a tenacious, relentless workrate that frustrated the Red Hands, who in the end were flattered by the four points margin of defeat.

It was a first win in four Championship clashes with their north-west neighbours for Donegal, who go on to defend their title in the Ulster final against either Cavan or Armagh.

Brennan struck a major blow in the fourth minute when he collected an Eoghan Ban Gallagher pass to smash home a goal.

That score gave his side a 1-01 to 0-02 lead, Tyrone having gone ahead early on with points from the Donelly brother, Mattie and Richie.

In front of a crowd of 13,579, Murphy was drifting deep, finding acres of space and getting on plenty of ball as Declan Bonner’s side pushed forward, and the team captain thumped a ’45 between the posts.

Brennan swept a fine effort between the posts to cancel out Kieran McGeary’s score, and Tri Chonaill stoll led by three when the Red Hands suffered a blow as they lost the influential Peter Harte to a black card for a challenge on Ryan McHugh after ten minutes.

Brennan was proving too hot to handle for Michael McKernan, and he stole away again to get on the end of a Paddy McBrearty assist, but fired a fierce shot against a post – a real let-off for the Red Hands, who countered for Cathal McShane to slip free of Paddy McGrath’s clutches and shoot a point.

Murphy missed a couple of opportunities from placed balls, but dispayed his outstanding class as he powered past Padraig Hampsey to steer over a gem from play, and with 20 minutes played, his side led by 1-04 to 0-04.

Without abandoning their dearly-held defensive principles, both sides displayed ambition and positivity in pushing forward, particularly Donegal, whose effective pressing in the central area also restricted the effectiveness of Tyrone’s long ball strategy.

Twice the Red Hands did break through, however, to get shots at goal away, but ‘keeper Shaun Patton got his angles spot on as he advanced to deny Brian Kennedy and, in stoppage time, Richie Donnelly.

Murphy kicked his fourth to open out a seven points gap, 1-9 to 0-5 at the break and Declan Bonner’s side firmly in control.

McShane and McGeary narrowed the gap as the Red Hands resumed with urgency and tenacity, but soon they were putting themselves under poressure with unforced errors, and were almost punished when Ciaran Thompson broke clear, his shot saved by Niall Morgan.

Murphy and McBrearty slotted over frees, and six points separated the sides at the end of the third quarter, 1-11 to 0-8.

With Eoghan Ban Gallagher making ground along the right flank, drawing in defenders and breaking tackles, Donegal’s potency was on the rise.

McBrearty, scoreless until the 53rd minute, now had three to his name as he steered over a gem from wide on the left, and Tyrone looked flat and lacking in ideas.

But Darren McCurry came off the bench and added a much-needed spark to the Tyrone attack, kcikign three points, with Michael Cassidy also coming in to rifle a shot just over the bar.

But this was always going to be Donegal’s day as they finally turned the tables on their great rivals.

Donegal: S Patton; P McGrath, N McGee, S McMenamin (0-01); R McHugh (0-01), N O’Donnell, E Ban Gallagher; H McFadden (0-01), J McGee; E McHugh (0-01), L McLoone, J Brennan (1-03); P McBrearty (0-03, 1f), M Murphy (0-05, 2d, 1 ’45), M Langan (0-01).

Subs: C Thompson for McGee (15), D O Baoill for E McHugh (39), F McGlynn for McLoone (47), O Gallen for O’Donnell (53), P Brennan for J Brennan (64)

Tyrone: N Morgan (0-02, 1f, 1 ’45); P Hampsey, R McNamee, L Rafferty; T McCann, B McDonnell, M McKernan; C Cavanagh, B Kennedy; M Donnelly (0-01), K McGeary (0-02), F Burns; C McShane (0-04, 3f), P Harte, R Donnelly (0-2).

Subs: C McAliskey for Harte (BC 9), N Sludden for Cavanagh (h-t), R Brennan for Rafferty (h-t), D McCurry (0-03, 1f) for McDonnell (40), M Cassidy (0-01) for Burns (51), A McCrory for McCann (56)

Referee: D Gough (Meath).