Holders Tyrone made it back to back Ulster U20 Football Championship titles as they seized control in the second half to reel Donegal in at Clones.
The Red Hand found themselves a point behind while playing into the wind after the break, but they turned the game in their favour in spectacular fashion, with Darragh Canavan hitting the crucial goal in the 49th minute.
A black card for a Donegal defender in the third quarter also had a crucial bearing on the outcome, with the defending champions taking full advantage with five points during that ten minute spell, three of them from man of the match Ethan Jordan, who finished with five, all from play.
Donegal defended with discipline during the opening exchanges, going in front in the tenth minute through Aaron Doherty, after Padraiag McGettigan and Tyrone midfielder Kevin Barker had exchanged scores.
But Jordan eased the Red Hands back in front, and they almost had a goal on the breakaway, but Jordan’s effort was well saved by Ronan McGeehin.
Tiarnan Quinn landed a long range score for the holders, but after corner back Paul O’Hare had pushed up to shoot a Donegal point, they trailed by just a point at the break, 0-4 to 0-3.
Keelan McGroddy’s superb ling range point nudged Tir Chonail ahead, but during Oisin Walsh’s ten minutes in the sin bin, the Red Hands tagged on five points as they pressed relentlessly.
Two each from Tiarnan Quinn and Jordan had them two ahead, but Donegal were dangerous on the break, and were denied a goal when Lorcan Quinn pushed Doherty’s screaming shot onto a post.
Moments later, Tyrone were also denied by the butt of an upright, Tiernan Quinn desperately unlucky not to see his shot ripple the bottom corner of the net
The ball was recycled to Jordan, who fired over another point to put four between the teams, and in the 49th minute came the crucial score.
Jordan’s shot was saved by goalkeeper McGeehin, and Canavan nipped in to crash the ball to the roof of the net from the rebound.
Now ahead by seven, there was to be no catching the defending provincial champions, although Donegal did sendover late scores through Doherty (2) and Padraig McGettigan.
But they finished the game with 13 men, following a black card for Conor McHugh and straight red for skipper Luke Gavigan.
L Quinn; C Quinn, C Munroe, M McCusker; N Kilpatrick, A Fox, J McCann; K Barker (0-1), J Oguz (0-2), T Donaghy, D Canavan (1-0), M Gallagher; E Jordan (0-5), M Murnaghan, T Quinn (0-2, 1f).
Subs: R Jones for Donaghy (h-t), S Garrity for Gallagher (51), L Gray (0-1) for Oguz (56), C Slevin for Jordan (61), E Devlin for Kilpatrick (61)
R McGeehin; O Walsh, C O’Donnell, P O’Hare (0-1); C Finn, L Gavigan (0-1), M Duffy; R O’Donnell, R O’Rourke; P McEniff, A Doherty (0-3, 1f)) K McGroddy (0-1); R Frain, P McGettigan (0-2, 1f), E Harkin.
Subs: C McHugh for O’Hare (37), J McGroddy (0-1, mark) for Harkin (41), E Carr for Frain (45), L Molloy for O’Rourke (53), R Brogan for Walsh (57).
D O’Hare (Down)