Donegal's Michael Murphy. Presseye/Lorcan Doherty/INPHO
Flying High

Impressive Donegal move joint-top after overcoming Tyrone

In awkward conditions of constant rain on a heavy pitch, the hosts’ fresh-faced panel showed its worth.

Donegal 0-12 Tyrone 0-6

DONEGAL’S MOST IMPRESSIVE outing of the season so far took Rory Gallagher’s side to joint-top of Division 1 tonight in Ballybofey.

The home team did the damage in the second quarter against Tyrone, having struck five points in succession to go in at half-time 0-9 to 0-4 in front.

In awkward conditions of constant rain on a heavy pitch, Donegal’s fresh-faced panel showed its worth, with Ciaran Thompson, Hugh McFadden and Ryan McHugh excelling around the most capable of hubs in the form of a roaming Michael Murphy.

The Donegal captain picked up a first-half yellow card and was constantly flanked by Justin McMahon, who would join him in the book before getting replaced by manager Mickey Harte with his continuation on the field perhaps having a question mark over it. Donegal’s support basked in McMahon’s substitution.

Donegal — through two Thompson efforts and points from Frank McGlynn and Eoin McHugh — were 0-4 to 0-2 in front by the 15th minute before a couple of Peter Harte scores brought Tyrone back on level terms.

However, that was the prelude to Donegal’s acceleration. Ryan McHugh scampered free into the night air and although a goal might’ve been on, took his point to eke Donegal ahead once more.

Murphy’s long-range free-kick, that rare commodity of a Paddy McGrath score, a McFadden belter and another excellent Thompson score made it 0-9 to 0-4 for the hosts at half-time.

Tyrone opened the scoring in the second half from a Sean Cavanagh free but would score just the once thereafter — an interlude of some 33 minutes.

Donegal picked and chose their moments and, as the pitch got even heavier, were competent in their lead.

The delay following the fall-out that was sparked by McMahon’s marking of Murphy meant that there would be nine minutes injury time required by the end.

Before that, though, points from McHugh, McFadden and substitute Cian Mulligan were enough for Donegal to see it out comfortably and they now join Tyrone and Dublin at the summit with seven points from five games.

DONEGAL: Mark Anthony McGinley; Paddy McGrath (0-1), Neil McGee, Eamonn Doherty; Eoghan Ban Gallagher, Frank McGlynn (0-1), Paul Brennan; Michael Murphy (0-1f), Ciaran Thompson (0-3); Martin O’Reilly, Eoin McHugh (0-1), Ryan McHugh (0-2); Micheál Carroll, Hugh McFadden (0-2), Jamie Brennan. Subs: Cian Mulligan (0-1) for McGlynn (half-time), Mark McHugh for McGrath (56, black card), Martin McElhinney for McFadden (64), Michael Langan for P.Brennan (65), Brendan McCole for J.Brennan (70).

TYRONE: Mickey O’Neill; Cathal McShane, Ronan McNamee, Cathal McCarron; Tiernan McCann, Justin McMahon, Rory Brennan (0-1); Colm Cavanagh, Declan McClure; Niall Sludden, Kieran McGeary, Peter Harte (0-2, 1f); Mark Bradley, Sean Cavanagh (0-3, 2f), Matthew Donnelly. Subs: Conor Meyler for McShane (half-time), Pádraig Hampsey for McClure (half-time), Aidan McCrory for McMahon (45), Ronan O’Neill for Brennan (53), Jonathan Munroe for McCarron (59).

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