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Dublin: 6 °C Sunday 16 December, 2018

Tyrone crowned Ulster U21 champions for the first time in 9 years after nail-biting finish

Donegal lost out by a single point at Celtic Park tonight.

The triumphant Tyrone team.
The triumphant Tyrone team.
Image: Lorcan Doherty

Tyrone 1-11
Donegal 0-13

TYRONE SECURED A first Ulster U21 FC title since 2006 with Daniel McNulty nailing an injury-time free in Celtic Park to snatch a precious win for the Red Hand county.

It was heartbreaking stuff for Donegal, runners-up to Cavan for the last two years, who had reeled off three unanswered points in the last ten minutes to draw level and looked to have the winning momentum late on.

However when Tyrone senior player Cathal McShane was fouled by Ciaran Thompson, McNulty hit the winning free from 30 metres. Tyrone were the more assured side and Conor Meyler’s eighth minute goal gave them an early cushion that they held on to for most of the game.

Ruairi McGlone and Michael Miller and Conor Morrison 8/4/2015 Tyrone's Ruairi McGlone and Donegal pair Michael Miller and Conor Morrison. Source: Lorcan Doherty

In front of 3,239 supporters, Meyler’s low finish across the goalkeeper into the far corner of the net gave Tyrone a cushion they held onto until half time.

Both sides looked comfortable breaking forward and Lee Brennan scored a couple of superb left-footed points, one from a very difficult angle before the break. Ryan McHugh was involved in a great Donegal move, his good run and superb pass to Darach O’Connor resulting in an impressive score.

A dejected Hugh McFadden after the game 8/4/2015 A dejected Hugh McFadden of Donegal after the game. Source: Lorcan Doherty

Ciaran McLaughlin picked up a black card for the second game in a row but Tyrone still led by 1-6 to 0-6 at half time.

Donegal had their best spell of the game in the last ten minutes, hitting three unanswered points from Eamon McGrath, Darach O’Connor and sub Stephen McBrearty hit the equaliser in the last minute of normal time. Mark Kavanagh was black-carded for Tyrone in a dramatic finish.

Kieran McGeary lifts the Irish News Cup 8/4/2015 Tyrone captain Kieran McGeary lifts the Irish News Cup. Source: Lorcan Doherty

With the game looking like it would go to extra time, Tyrone mounted one last attack and McNulty stepped up to convert the free which booked Tyrone’s place in the All-Ireland semi-final against Roscommon on Saturday week.

Scorers for Tyrone: Lee Brennan (0-2f), Diarmuid McNulty (0-3f) 0-4 each, Conor Meyler 1-0, Cathal McShane, M Cassidy, Ruairi McGlone 0-1 each.

Scorers for Donegal: Hugh McFadden 0-5 (0-4f), Eoin McHugh, Darach O’Connor 0-2 each, Ciaran Thompson (0-1f), Willie Gillespie, E McGrath, Stephen McBrearty 0-1 each.

DONEGAL: D Rodgers; C Morrison, C Parke, J O’Brien; R McHugh, D Mulgrew, E Gallagher; T McClenaghan, C Thompson; O Crawford, L Connor, D O’Connor; W Gillespie, H McFadden, E McHugh

Subs: E McGrath for Morrison (HT), S McBrearty for McClenaghan (HT), J Brennan for Connor (55), C Mulligan for Crawford (55), C McGonigle for Gillespie (58)

TYRONE: S Fox; R Mullan, P Hampsey, M Cassidy; C McLaughlin, R Brennan, K McGeary; F Burns, C McShane; C Meyler, M Kavanagh, M Walsh; L Brennan, D McNulty, R McGlone

Subs: R Kelly for McLaughlin (BC, 29), M Bradley for McGlone (45), S McKenna for Burns (57)

Refreee: Noel Mooney (Cavan)

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About the author:

Orla Bannon

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