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HARTE BREAK Donegal brew up a storm to send Tyrone crashing out of All-Ireland

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 Donegal manager Declan Bonner and Ryan McHugh celebrate at the final whistle

Donegal manager Declan Bonner and Ryan McHugh celebrate at the final whistle

Donegal manager Declan Bonner and Ryan McHugh celebrate at the final whistle

Donegal 1-13 Tyrone 1-11


Donegal put themselves in pole position for a first-ever Ulster three-in-a-row when they prevailed in a battle of heavyweights in Ballybofey.

In atrocious conditions, the home side controlled the majority of possession, coming from behind in either half.

Ciaran Thompson was the hero with seven points, five from frees, while Michael Langan also chipped in with 1-2 as Michael Murphy was held scoreless.

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Dejected Tyrone players after their Donegal defeat

Dejected Tyrone players after their Donegal defeat

Dejected Tyrone players after their Donegal defeat

Tyrone hit Donegal relentlessly on the break in the second half, when they had the advantage from the swirling wind, but the home side's patient build up generally paid dividends while the impact off the bench from Andrew McLean, Oisin Gallen and Paddy McGrath helped to maintain dominance.

Neither Murphy nor Ryan McHugh enjoyed their usual impact, while Donegal were able to stem the influence of Conor McKenna at the other end, first through Neil McGee and then Stephen McMenamin after McGee retired at the break with an injury.

Tyrone had controlled the opening exchanges up to the first water break, adapting to the conditions better and making less unforced errors.

They led through Darren McCurry's interception of a Shaun Patton kick-out and steadily built, with McCurry showing well on the inside line to take a 0-5 to 0-1 lead.

The break was timely for Donegal, with Langan then pointing from long range and then getting on the end of a great move for a game-changing goal as Shaun Patton found Peadar Mogan with a lengthy kick-out into the Tyrone half on 26 minutes.

Mogan still had much to do to gather in the conditions but his delivery was weighted perfectly as they beat the cover.

Jamie Brennan followed up with a point that required plenty of control and Paul Brennan added another for a six-point turnaround, ultimately the winning of the game of this nature.

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Donegal's Michael Langan rifles his side's first goal past Tyrone 'keeper Niall Morgan

Donegal's Michael Langan rifles his side's first goal past Tyrone 'keeper Niall Morgan

Donegal's Michael Langan rifles his side's first goal past Tyrone 'keeper Niall Morgan

McCurry closed Tyrone's first half account with a point but, with discipline eroding, Mickey Harte's side conceded a 45-metre free - then moved in 20 metres after a further incident - which Thompson's converted to restore a two-point interval lead, 1-5 to 0-6.

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Tyrone's Darragh Canavan picked off 1-1 in the opening minutes of the second half, the goal coming after Eoghan Ban Gallagher failed to gather a pass from Patton. His finish was calmness personified.

But Donegal responded and within 10 minutes they were in front again by two points, 1-9 to 1-7.
Frank Burns and substitute Mark Bradley levelled again and Tyrone looked more likely, but Donegal stepped it up once more to lead by two again on 56 minutes.

Tyrone weren't going away, however, and by the 60th-minute Peter Harte had restored parity, 1-11 each, to set up a grandstand finish.
Donegal kept faith in their possession-based approach, even in conditions where mistakes were so frequent and ruthlessly punished.

Thompson from another free and Gallen put them clear again and they survived a late scare when McMenamin cleared off the line after McKenna had put pressure on Patton beneath a Richie Donnelly point attempt that dropped short.

The defeat for Tyrone will raise questions now over the future of Mickey Harte's stewardship as this was the last of a three-year extension.

Scorers - Donegal: C Thompson 0-7 (5fs), M Langan 1-2, J Brennan 0-2, O Gallen, P Brennan 0-1 each
Tyrone: D Canavan 1-1, D McCurry 0-3 (1f), M Bradley 0-2, M Donnelly, C McKenna (f), P Harte, F Burns, N Morgan (45) all 0-1 each.


Donegal: S Patton; S McMenamin, J McKelvey, EB Gallagher; R McHugh, N McGee, P Brennan; C McGonagle, H McFadden; P Mogan, M Murphy; C Thompson; N O'Donnell, M Langan, K Brennan. Subs: E McHugh for McKelvey (24), A McLean for McGee (h-t), O Gallen for O'Donnell (43), P McGrath for Brennan (54), J McGee for McGonagle (71)


Tyrone: N Morgan; L Rafferty, R McNamee, M McKernan; T McCann, M Donnelly, M O'Neill; F Burns, B Kennedy; K McGeary, C McKenna, C Meyler; D McCurry, P Harte, D Canavan. Subs: M Bradley for McCurry (50), R Donnelly for O'Neill (52), P Hampsey for Kennedy (57), N Sludden for Canavan (63)

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