Tyrone minors set up Cork clash with Ulster title victory over Donegal

Second-half goals from Conor Owens and Cormac Devlin sealed it for Tyrone as they set up an All-Ireland semi-final clash with Cork
Tyrone minors set up Cork clash with Ulster title victory over Donegal

Tyrone captain Cormac Devlin lifts the Fr Larry Murphy Cup at Brewster Park. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Tyrone 2-11 Donegal 1-7 

Tyrone swept to a first Ulster Minor Football title since 2012 as they got the better of Donegal at Brewster Park last night. 

Second-half goals from Conor Owens and Cormac Devlin sealed it for the Red Hands as they set up an All-Ireland semi-final clash with Cork.

They produced grit and style in equal measure to get the better of Donegal, and had to battle for the first time this season, having cruised through their previous games with big winning margins.

Tyrone got off to a flyer with two points in the opening minute but those Devlin and Ronan Strain scores were to be their lot for the first quarter.

Donegal went level through Daniel McCormack and Daniel Marley, and after Sean Martin and Tyrone’s Eoin McElholm, with a mark, had exchanged scores, they were still deadlocked after 20 minutes.

But Tyrone began to dominate their opponents’ kick-out, and scores from Devlin, Gavin Potter, Ronan Donnelly, and Ronan Cassidy sent them in at the break with a 0-7 to 0-3 interval lead.

Tyrone lost powerful midfielder Ruairi McHugh to a black card but conceded just two points during his ten-minute absence, while they restored their four-point advantage with scores from McElholm and Cassidy.

And in the 49th and 50th minutes they struck the crucial blows with two goals.

First substitute Owens blasted home his shot from McElholm’s pass, then Shea O’Hare sent Devlin in for a clinical finish.

Now Tyrone led by nine and were well on their way to a 24th Ulster Minor title.

Donegal pulled a late goal back when substitute Karl Joseph Molloy buried his shot when a loose ball fell into his path.

But they had too much to do and Tyrone hit back with scores from Owens and Devlin to set up an All-Ireland semi-final clash with the Munster champions.

Scorers for Tyrone: C Devlin 1-3; C Owens 1-1; E McElholm (1 mark), R Cassidy (1 free) 0-2 each; G Potter, R Strain, R Donnelly 0-1 each.

Scorers for Donegal: K Molloy 1-0; D Marley, S Ward, S Martin, D Gallagher, M Callaghan, L McGlynn (free), D Marley 0-1 each.

Tyrone: N Robinson; M Rafferty, R Fox, C Kelly; H Cunningham, S O’Hare, M Mallon; R Donnelly, R McHugh; R Strain, C Devlin, G Potter; R Cassidy, P McCann, E McElholm.

Subs: C Owens for McCann (45), N Grimes for Cassidy (51), B Hughes for Cunningham (61), J Martin for Strain (61). 

Donegal: A Cullen; D Gallagher, C Gallagher, K Magee; S Martin, E Friel, O Caulfield; S Ward, C Reid; C McGeever, K McCormack, C McGinty; D Marley, P McElwee, L McGlynn.

Subs: J Doherty for Friel (25), G Kelly for Reid (h-t), M Callaghan for McElwee (h-t), C McColgan for McGinty (48), K Molloy for McCormack (52). 

Referee: A Marron (Monaghan).

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