Donegal 2-10 Tyrone 0-10

Updated: Sunday, 26 May 2013 19:05 | Comments

Colm McFadden scored a first-half goal for the champions
Colm McFadden scored a first-half goal for the champions


All-Ireland champions Donegal struck for goals at crucial times to master Tyrone, 2-10 to 0-10, in an attritional Ulster SFC quarter-final at Ballybofey. 

Colm Cavanagh shot Tyrone in front on 26 minutes but Colm McFadden’s 32-minute goal sent Donegal in with a 1-06 to 0-07 interval lead.

Substitute Ross Wherity palmed home a second goal and they finished strongly with scores from Michael Murphy, Rory Kavanagh and Paddy McBrearty, holding their opponents scoreless for 33 minutes as they powered into another Ulster semi-final.

Donegal were ahead by 0-04 to 0-01 after seven minutes, their first point from play coming from David Walsh, after Colm McFadden (2) and Michael Murphy had converted frees.

But Tyrone took control at midfield, winning break ball through Conor Gormley, Peter Harte and Mattie Donnelly, and after missing his first shot at goal, goalkeeper Niall Morgan split the posts with a 47 metre free.

Sean Cavanagh and Conor McAliskey had already got on the scoreboard as a tight and tactical game developed exactly as anticipated.

McFadden had a half chance for the game’s opening goal when he collected a sideline ball from Murphy, but Justin McMahon’s block averted the danger.

Jim McGuinness introduced Mark McHugh to the action after 20 minutes, but the Red Hands continued to dominated possession in the middle third, and when Mattie Donnelly collected Peter Harte’s return pass to slot a neat score, the sides were level on 0-5 each on 25 minutes.

Colm Cavanagh shot the Red Hands ahead, but in the 32nd minute, the All-Ireland champions stunned their opponents with a goal.

Murphy sent in a free from halfway, and McFadden ran on to Paddy McBrearty’s flick to send a low, angled shot past Morgan.

Donegal led by 1-06 to 0-07 at the interval, but the Red Hands drew level within five minutes of the restart through Sean Cavanagh.

They looked as if they could lift their game further, but Morgan had an off-day with his free-kicking, missing three in quick succession to finish with a strike rate of just one from six attempts.

Karl Lacey joined the action to galvanise the Donegal machine, and gradually they began to squeeze their opponents towards submission.

And the game took a decisive twist in favour of the treble-seeking provincial champions when substitute Ross Wherity palmed home their second goal in the 49th minute.

McBrearty made a searing run along the right sideline before cutting inside and slipping the killer pass to Wherity on the edge of the square.

Donegal were now winning midfield, and pressing higher up the field, and when McBearty and Murphy tagged on points, they led by five going into the home straight.

Tyrone’s fading ambitions became almost impossible when Joe McMahon picked up a second yellow card 10 minutes from the end.

The Red Hand attack was suffocated by Donegal’s defensive system, held scoreless for an incredible 33 minutes before Kyle Coney shot a consolation score.

Donegal: P Durcan, P McGrath, N McGee, F McGlynn, E McGee, Declan Walsh, A Thompson, R Kavanagh (0-01), N Gallagher, R Bradley, L McLoone, David Walsh (0-01), P McBrearty (0-02), M Murphy (0-03, 2f), C McFadden (1-03, 2f).

Subs: M McHugh for McGlynn, M O’Reilly for Bradley, M McEhinney for David Walsh, K Lacey for Thompson, R Wherity (1-00) for McLoone

Tyrone: N Morgan (0-01, f), PJ Quinn, C Clarke, C McCarron, Justin McMahon (0-01), Mattie Donnelly (0-02), C Gormley, C Cavanagh (0-01), Joe McMahon, P Harte, S Cavanagh (0-02, 1f), Mark Donnelly, M Penrose, S O’Neill (0-01), C McAliskey (0-01).

Subs: P McNeice for McAliskey, D Carlin for Quinn, A Cassidy for Justin McMahon, K Coney for Mark Donnelly, A McCrory for Carlin (blood), K Coney (0-01) for Mark Donnelly

Referee: J McQuillan (Cavan).

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