Donegal set up Ulster Under-21 semi-final against Derry
Tir Chonail men survive late spell of Tyrone pressure to advance
Ciaran Cannon of Donegal and Ronan O'Neill of Tyrone. Photograph: Inpho
Donegal shocked Tyrone at Healy Park to set up a semi-final meeting with Derry. Senior star Paddy McBrearty led the way with a seven-point haul and along with Willie Gillespie always carried a threat. McBrearty converted a couple of frees, with Odhran MacNiallais also on target as Tir Chonail moved into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead.
Conan Grugan ended a 16-minute barren spell for Tyrone, but Donegal, defending in numbers and breaking at pace, scored two classic counter-attack points through Gillespie and McBrearty. But the Red Hands plundered a goal, very much against the run of play, when Richard Donnelly crossed for wing-back Stefan Tierney to punch home.
Donegal led by 0-8 to 1-3 at the interval, and McBrearty continued to weave his magic after the break, firing two more points, with 18-year-old Darach O’Connor also getting in for a score. As the game entered its final quarter, Donegal led by 0-12 to 1-5, and after surviving a spell of Tyrone pressure, closed out the win with late points from Luke Keeney, Gibbons and Eoin McHugh.