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Dublin: 14 °C Wednesday 20 June, 2018


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Good afternoon and welcome along to our live coverage of the 2017 Ulster senior football championship final as Tyrone look to defend the crown they won last year and add a 15th provincial title to their name.

This is Down’s first appearance in the Ulster decider since 2012, when they lost to Donegal, but the past five championship encounters between these counties have been extremely close.

Tyrone are the favourites to lift the Anglo-Celt trophy again but Down will take great confidence from their wins over Armagh and Monaghan to get here.

The action gets underway at 2pm and we’ll have every kick of the ball from Clones.

Here are the teams for today’s clash, as named by the respective managers earlier in the week. We’ll bring you any changes when we hear.

Down: Michael Cunningham; Niall McParland, Gerard McGovern, Darren O’Hagan; Darragh O’Hanlon, Conaill McGovern, Caolan Mooney; Kevin McKernan, Niall Donnelly; Joe Murphy, Conor Maginn, Shay Millar; Jerome Johnston, Connaire Harrison, Ryan Johnston.

Tyrone: Niall Morgan; Aidan McCrory, Ronan McNamee, Cathal McCarron; Tiernan McCann, Padraig Hampsey, Peter Harte; Colm Cavanagh, Conall McCann; David Mulgrew, Niall Sludden, Kieran McGeary; Mark Bradley, Sean Cavanagh, Mattie Donnelly.

It’s a beautiful afternoon in Clones and the atmosphere is really building ahead of this one.

Brian O'Neill Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Fans throng the streets in Clones for the Ulster Final Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Raymond Bradley from Newry on his way to to watch Down and Tyrone Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

News from the Ulster MFC final which preceded the senior decider, with Derry defeating Cavan 1-22 to 2-12 to lift the provincial silverware.

Derry players celebrate Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

We’re hearing news of a late change for Down with Peter Turley replacing Joe Murphy in the XV. Tyrone are unchanged.

Tyrone players prepare for the team photo Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

The teams are out and we’ve had the national anthem. Conditions are absolutely perfect in Clones and we’re all set.


Kick off! We’re underway and Down look to launch their first attack but there are enough white shirts there to snuff out the danger.


Tyrone 0-1 Down 0-1

A lively start in Clones and both teams are on the board after four minutes. Padraig Hampsey opens the scoring for the holders but Down go straight down the other end where Shay Millar converts from a tight angle.


Tyrone 0-3 Down 0-1

Padraig Hampsey has started brilliantly and he dissects the posts with another sweet strike shortly after Peter Harte put Tyrone back in front. They lead by two now.


Tyrone 0-4 Down 0-1

Tyrone are motoring now and Mattie Donnelly sends over their fourth point of the day.


Tyrone 0-4 Down 0-1

Tyrone’s defence are on top and you feel if Down are to have any chance this afternoon they need to take every opportunity, but Darragh O’Hanlon’s effort is wide of the posts.


Tyrone 0-4 Down 0-2

But Ryan Johnston nails a superb score and that should settle Down.


Tyrone 0-5 Down 0-2

We’ve already seen a couple of brilliant scores this afternoon and Niall Sludden adds another long-range effort to restore Tyrone’s three-point advantage.


Tyrone 0-6 Down 0-3

Tyrone are playing some brilliant stuff and a really nice move ends in Sean Cavanagh fisting over, before Peter Turley immediately replies for Down.


Tyrone 0-6 Down 0-3

Defences are on top at the moment with both sides guilty of spurning chances.


Tyrone 0-6 Down 0-4

Down have been on the back foot for most of this game but somehow have managed to stay in touch as Darragh O’Hanlon brings them within two points.


Tyrone 0-6 Down 0-5

Down are starting to find their rhythm now and a sweeping move ends with Conor Maginn sending one over from 40 yards out. There’s just a point between the sides now!


The complexion of this game has suddenly changed with Tyrone losing their way a little and Down looking to take full advantage. We’ll have four minutes of added time.


Tyrone 0-6 Down 0-5

What a chance! Darragh O’Hanlon is put through on goal but he drags his shot wide with only the goalkeeper to beat.


Tyrone 0-6 Down 0-5

Dramatic end to the first half in Clones as Tyrone win the free on the edge of the box but the referee overturns his decision and then Kieran McGeary is shown a black card.


Mattie Donnelly struck right on half time there to give Tyrone a two-point advantage. It has been a very competitive game yet after 20 minutes it didn’t look like we were going to get any sort of contest with Mickey Harte’s men dominating the opening exchanges.

The quality hasn’t been great but Down are very much in this heading into the second period.


Almost set to go again at St Tiernach’s Park.


Tyrone 0-8 Down 0-5

Back underway and immediately Tyrone are into their stride David Mulgrew gets his first score of the afternoon. 15 seconds is all it took for the Red Hand county to get up and running in the second half.


Tyrone 0-10 Down 0-5

Sean Cavanagh has the simple task of knocking over a free and then Mark Bradley fires another one over and Down need to be careful that they don’t fall too far behind here. Tyrone have come out of the traps quickly.


Tyrone 0-10 Down 0-5

Things are getting a bit heated out there and tempers are beginning to fray. Down looking for a response but they concede another free kick and Niall Morgan has come up to take this.

Just as we’re waiting for Morgan to ready himself, the referee has shown McKernan a black card.


Tyrone 0-11 Down 0-5

McKernan can feel very harshly done by there after his clash with Sean Cavanagh adjudged to be a black card offence. It’s a huge blow for Down and the task facing them is growing stiffer as Peter Harte makes no mistake from a close-range free.


Tyrone 0-14 Down 0-7

Tyrone beginning to show a clinical edge now and this Ulster final is threatening to get away from Down. Bradley, McCann and McCann all on target.


GOAL! Tyrone 1-14 Down 0-7

Sweeping move from Tyrone and it’s beautifully worked by Mattie Donnelly for Ronan O’Neill to slot home.


Tyrone 1-15 Down 0-8

An outstanding save from the Down goalkeeper as he flies away to his right to tip Hampsey’s effort over the bar. Into the final 10 minutes in Clones.


Tyrone 1-15 Down 0-9

Darragh O’Hanlon knocks over his second free but it’s all too little, too late.


Tyrone 1-15 Down 0-10

Some of the crowd are beginning to filter out of Clones as Caolan Mooney scores a fine point from range. This game has been over as a contest for quite some time.


GOAL! Tyrone 2-15 Down 0-10

The icing on the cake for Tyrone as O’Neill scores his second goal with a delightful lobbed finish up and over the goalkeeper.


Tyrone 2-15 Down 0-11

We’ve had a bit of a stoppage here as Mark Poland is down receiving attention for what looks like a nasty cut to the side of his head. He’s helped off by the paramedics and on the restart O’Hanlon knocks over another free.


Tyrone 2-15 Down 0-12

Down still chipping away and that’s a beautiful score from Mooney, who strikes it sweetly with the outside of the right boot. We’re into the first minute of seven minutes of added time.


Tyrone 2-16 Down 0-12

Donnelly finishes off another well-worked Tyrone move.


Tyrone 2-17 Down 0-13

Points at either end as we approach the final exchanges of this Ulster final.

Thanks for joining us this afternoon, we’ll have a report from Clones on The42 shortly.

In the meantime, we have live updates of the Leinster SFC final between Dublin and Kildare from Croke Park here.

About the author:

Ryan Bailey


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