HomeFootballDonegal find that bit extra to seal Ulster final slot against Armagh...

Donegal find that bit extra to seal Ulster final slot against Armagh after toughest of tussles with Tyrone

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In front of 14,714, Donegal were marginally the better side in the additional periods with Paddy McBrearty – back on the field after being withdrawn in normal time – delivering the only score of the second half of extra time to see the Tir Chonaill men through.

It was nip and tuck early on, with the sides swapping scores. By the time Daire Ó Baoill sold a beautiful dummy and pointed to make it 0-3 each, it was the third time for the sides to be level.

Tyrone didn’t score from play until the 17th minute when Seán O’Donnell clipped over, but with the game being played on their terms, Brian Dooher’s side grew in confidence. Ciarán Daly steered over a beauty with the outside of his boot before an Oisín Gallen free and a Ciaran Thompson point in a blistering counter-attack saw the sides level for the fourth time.

But Tyrone took over from there to the interval. Darragh Canavan wriggled into enough space to point. Niall Morgan floated over a free before Cathal McShane pointed after a route one move that saw Brian Kennedy field a monster kick out and feed Mattie Donnelly. The Trillick man found McShane, who ensured Donegal took a 0-8 to 0-5 lead in at the break.

Donegal had kicked six first-half wides and immediately made that seven on the restart. However, the second half followed a similar pattern to the first, where Tyrone would open up a slender lead only to see Donegal equalise.

At one stage, Tyrone hit three points inside three minutes, but again, Donegal pulled themselves back into it. By the time Brendan McCole hit the point to force extra-time, it was the seventh time Donegal had pulled themselves level.

Jeaic Mac Ceallbhuí opened the scoring in extra time to give Donegal the lead for the first time since they opened the scoring in the fifth minute.

Mattie Donnelly and Michael McKernan replied for Tyrone before McBrearty brought the sides level for the tenth time. Shane O’Donnell fisted a score to see Donegal take a 0-17 to 0-16 lead in at the break.

Perhaps suffering after playing extra time last week, a number of Tyrone players seemed to be struggling late on, Darragh Canavan and Cathal McShane among them.

But Donegal defended resolutely and worked one final chance for McBrearty to land the insurance score.

McGuinness’s men face Armagh in the Ulster final in a fortnight in Clones, while Tyrone head for the All-Ireland series.

SCORERS – Donegal: O Gallen 0-3 (3f); D Ó Baoill, J McGee, N O’Donnell, P McBrearty (1f) C Thompson (1f) 0-2 each; B McCole, C Gonagle, P Mogan, S O’Donnell, J Mac Ceallbhuí 0-1 each. Tyrone: D Canavan 0-4 (1f, 1m), N Morgan 0-3 (3f), M McKernan, D McCurry (2f), C Daly 0-2 each, S O’Donnell, C McShane, M Donnelly 0-1 each.

DONEGAL: G Mulreany; M Curran, B McCole, C Moore; R McHugh, C McGonagle, P Mogan; J McGee, M Langan; S O’Donnell, C Thompson, D Ó Baoill; P McBrearty, O Gallen, N O’Donnell. Subs: A Doherty for McBrearty (HT), J Brennan for Ó Baoill (49), J Mac Ceallbhuí for Curran (70+3), P McBrearty for Doherty, D Ó Baoill for Brennan (both ahead of extra time), A Doherty for Gallen (80), J Brennan for N O’Donnell (87).

TYRONE: N Morgan; C Devlin, P Hampsey, M McKernan; S O’Donnell, M Donnelly, N Devlin; B Kennedy, C Kilpatrick; C Daly, K McGeary, M O’Neill; D McCurry, D Canavan, C McShane. Subs: A Clarke for C Devlin (41), C Cush for McGeary (63), R Canavan for O’Neill (76), A Donaghy for McShane, C Donnelly for Kilpatrick (both 87).

REFEREE: B Cawley (Kildare).

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