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Dublin: 6 °C Monday 17 December, 2018


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Good afternoon and welcome along to our liveblog for the 2016 Ulster senior football final between Tyrone and Donegal. Throw-in is at 2pm and we’ll keep you updated on everything from Clones here as it happens.

Former Tyrone star Owen Mulligan is buzzing for this one and so are we…

Here’s how Donegal will line-out, with Neil McGee returning at full-back following a suspension:


1. Mark Anthony McGinley (St Michael’s)

2. Paddy McGrath (Ardara)
3. Neil McGee (Gaoth Dobhair)
4. Ciaran Gillespie (Gaoth Dobhair)

5. Ryan McHugh (Kilcar)
6. Karl Lacey (Four Masters)
7. Frank McGlynn (Glenfin)

8. Rory Kavanagh (St Eunan’s)
9. Odhrán Mac Niallais (Gaoth Dobhair)

10. Anthony Thompson (Naomh Conaill)
11. Martin McElhinney (St Michael’s)
12. Eoin McHugh (Kilcar)

13. Patrick McBrearty (Kilcar)
14. Michael Murphy (Glenswilly – captain)
15. Martin O’Reilly (Sean Mac Cumhaill)

Tyrone are unchanged from their semi-final replay defeat of Cavan, although it’s a side that contains just five survivors from their last Ulster final appearance — against Monaghan in 2010:


1. Niall Morgan (Edendork)

2. Aidan McCrory (Errigal Ciarán)
3. Ronan McNamee (Aghyaran)
4. Cathal McCarron (Dromore)

5. Tiernan McCann (Killyclogher)
6. Justin McMahon (Omagh)
7. Peter Harte (Errigal Ciarán)

8. Colm Cavanagh (Moy)
9. Mattie Donnelly (Trillick)

10. Cathal McShane (Eoghan Roe O’Neill)
11. Niall Sludden (Dromore)
12. Ronan McNabb (Dromore)

13. Connor McAliskey (Clonoe)
14. Sean Cavanagh (Captain – Moy)
15. Ronan O’Neill (Omagh)

“Donegal’s recent period of success is now officially an ‘era’. But is this era coming to an end? Is it still going strong, despite frequent reports of its demise? Or are we at the beginning of another era — another Tyrone era?”

Our columnist, TV3′s Tommy Martin, looked ahead to this afternoon’s game on The42 earlier this week. Click here to read his thoughts.

It’s about to begin between Tyrone and Donegal. Who’ll be the Ulster champions for 2016? We’re about to find out.

3 mins – Tyrone 0-1 Donegal 0-0

Niall Morgan’s free sends Tyrone into the lead.

Not the best start by Donegal. They’ve hit three early wides.

9 mins – Tyrone 0-2 Donegal 0-0

Cathal McShane doubles Tyrone’s lead. Nice point.

12 mins – Tyrone 0-2 Donegal 0-1

Paddy McBrearty has Donegal up and running with a free. They really needed that.

14 mins – Tyrone 0-2 Donegal 0-3

Ryan McHugh’s first point today arrives after a great move by Donegal.

Tyrone are dropping 14 men behind their own 45 and using two sweepers.

19 mins – Tyrone 0-2 Donegal 0-4

Donegal have Tyrone exactly where they want them. Ryan McHugh kicks them two in front.

21 mins – Tyrone 0-3 Donegal 0-4

Fine score by Niall Sludden. That’s more like it by Tyrone. They need to move the ball quicker in attack. That’s their first score since the 9th minute.

22 mins – Tyrone 0-4 Donegal 0-5

Ryan McHugh is a gem. He kicks his third but almost immediately Cathal McCarron responds for Tyrone.

22 mins – Tyrone 0-4 Donegal 0-6

This it the football we came to see. Odhran MacNiallais sends one over from long-range as the game begins to open up.

29 mins – Tyrone 0-4 Donegal 0-7

McBrearty leaves three between the sides. Donegal are playing keep ball in front of Tyrone’s defensive blanket. As a result we haven’t seen many foot passes today.

Eoin McHugh has left the field as a blood sub. Martin McElhinney replaces him for Donegal. Mattie Donnelly was responsible for McHugh’s bloody nose and he is black carded.

Mickey Harte looks flustered on the sideline. Rory Kavanagh is yellow-carded for Donegal. Tyrone fans will wonder why he didn’t join Donnelly and McShane.

Mark Bradley replaces McShane.

Rory Gallagher has his tactics spot on in the first-half. It’s been all Donegal since the 10th minute.

Half-time: Tyrone 0-4 Donegal 0-7

Fifteen wides altogether including nine from Tyrone.

Both teams kicked the ball 14 times each in that first half. That statistic says it all.

36 mins – Tyrone 0-4 Donegal 0-8

Within 13 seconds of the restart, McBrearty makes it double scores. Meanwhile Tiernan McCann has gone down holding his face after a late hit by Michael Murphy.

Murphy could be in trouble here…

Murphy gets away with it, but in fairness a black card would have been unfair on him.

37 mins – Tyrone 0-5 Donegal 0-8

Rory Brennan with a sweet-kick brings Tyrone to within three points. Looks like he’s picked up Ryan McHugh.

40 mins – Tyrone 0-6 Donegal 0-8

Peter Harte scores after a driving run forward by Sean Cavanagh.

McCann kicks Tyrone’s 11th wide.

48 mins – Tyrone 0-7 Donegal 0-8

Sean Cavanagh leaves a point between the sides.

We’re in for a huge last 20 minutes. Who has the legs to win this?

52 mins – Tyrone 0-8 Donegal 0-8

We’re level in Clones! Niall Morgan’s equalising free is a massive moment. It’s been all Tyrone since half-time.

56 mins – Tyrone 0-8 Donegal 0-9

Donegal’s patient play is rewarded when MacNiallais lands one over from downtown. Great score.


Cathal McCarron drives a goal chance wide. Poor execution there from the Tyrone defender.

60 mins – Tyrone 0-9 Donegal 0-9

Inspirational score from Sean Cavanagh. It all came from a wonderful hit on Frank McGlynn in the Tyrone defence.

Darren McCurry is on for Conor McAliskey. He can do serious damage if he can get the supply.

Tyrone seem to have the upper hand here as Donegal look out of ideas.

Christy Toye replaces Frank McGlynn, who’s holding his shoulder as he departs.

68 mins – Tyrone 0-10 Donegal 0-10

He’s been quiet today but Michael Murphy curls over a free to send Donegal in front. Moments later McCurry equalises. Are we heading for a draw in Clones?

69 mins – Tyrone 0-10 Donegal 0-11

We’re into the final minute.

Penalty shout for Tyrone but Donegal eventually win the free out!

Colm McFadden is introduced for Donegal.

We’re into stoppage time. Tyrone have the ball…

We’ll have six minutes of injury-time.


SEAN CAVANAGH! The 2008 Footballer of the Year draws Tyrone level for the fifth time.

73 mins – Tyrone 0-11 Donegal 0-11

Ryan McHugh wins a free from about 50m out. Murphy kicked out from here a few minutes ago. He stands over it…

74 mins – Tyrone 0-11 Donegal 0-11

Murphy kicks it to the left and wide. The sides are still level.

75 mins – Tyrone 0-13 Donegal 0-11

Kieran McGeary raises the roof with another one!

Donegal will really struggle to kick two scores here. They need a goal.

Full-time: Tyrone 0-13 Donegal 0-11

About the author:

Kevin O'Brien