FROM ODHRÁN CRUMLEY
ULSTER SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL 2016
SUNDAY JULY 17TH 2016
TYRONE 0-13 DONEGAL 0-11
ST.TIERNACH’S PARK, CLONES
It was late but great for Tyrone as late strikes from Sean Cavanagh, Peter Harte and Kieran McGeary earned the Red Hands their first Anglo Celt in six years.
As expected the opening exchanges where largely cagey as both sides deployed the rigid defensive structures. Scores from Niall Morgan and Cathal McShane opened the scoring before a Paddy McBrearty free opened his sides account with a twelfth minute free.
The Tir Chonaill men edged in front Ryan McHugh knocking over three points with Niall Sludden and Cathal McCarron keeping the Red Hands in touch.
The Tyrone cause was dealt a double blow before the break influential Mattie Donnelly receiving a black card for a body check on Eoin McHugh while Cathal McShane saw black for verbal abuse of an umpire.
Rory Gallagher’s side led by three at the break on a score line of 0-7 to 0-4.
The lead was extended to four McBrearty pointing from early the second half. Four unanswered points, Brennan, Cavanagh, Harte and Morgan all on target.
Both sides traded scores neither side able to push ahead until a long range Murphy free put Donegal ahead with four minutes left on the clock. Substitute Darren McCurry levelled the game once again with his first touch of the ball.
The experienced Christy Toye made an instant impact from the bench scoring from way out in the left, giving his side the narrowest of leads.
As the game moved into the six minutes of additional time Tyrone captain Sean Cavanagh nailed an inspirational score to level the game, the ball seemed to hang in the air for an eternity before dropping over the bar.
Murphy would miss a free at one end and would be forced to rue it as Peter Harte landed a huge score from over fifty yards to give Tyrone the lead. Substitute Kieran McGeary would double his side’s lead instantly.
Meath referee David Coldrick would sound his whistle to scenes of unbridled euphoria as a sea of red and white spilled out onto the Clones pitch.
Donegal: MA McGinley P McGrath, N McGee, E McGee, C Gillespie, K Lacey, F McGlynn, R Kavanagh, O MacNiallais (0-02), R McHugh (0-03), M O’Reilly, A Thompson, P McBrearty (0-03, 2f), M Murphy (0-02, 1 ’45, 1f), E McHugh.
Subs: M McElhinney for Kavanagh (44), M McHugh for Thompson (53), C Toye (0-01) for McGlynn (63), E Gallagher for Gillespie (66), A Thompson for E McHugh (66), C McFadden for McBearty (70)
Tyrone: N Morgan (0-02, 2f), A McCrory, R McNamee, C McCarron (0-01), T McCann, J McMahon, R McNabb, C Cavanagh, M Donnelly, C McShane (0-01), N Sludden (0-01), P Harte (0-02), C McAliskey, S Cavanagh (0-03), R O’Neill.
Subs: R Brennan (0-01) for Donnelly (33 BC) M Bradey for McShane (37 BC), J Munroe for O’Neill (53), D McCurry (0-01) for McAliskey (63), K McGeary (0-01) for McMahon (70)
Referee: D Coldrick (Meath).