Donegal Under-17s scored just once in the second half, but managed to scrape out a narrow win over Tyrone in the Ulster U17 League.
Donegal 2-8 Tyrone 0-13
By Charlie Collins in Ballyshannon
Gary Duffy’s team were eight in front after playing with the aid of the Ballyshannon wind in the first half, but Tyrone surged back in the second half.
And it took a goal from a 52nd minute penalty by Cathal Gillespie, a substitute, to get Donegal over the line.
Gillespie smashed home after a Tyrone defender was penalised for a foot block on Anthony Doherty’s shot.
Tyrone hit six points in a row at the start of the second half with Stephen Grugan (2), Simon Garrity, Ronan Duffan, Lorcan McBride and Mark Hayes all on target as they inched back into the game.
With Hayes, Garrity, Grugan and Oisin McCann pointing, Tyrone were within a point when the final whistle sounded.
Senan Rooney got Donegal off the mark before Shane O’Donnell fired over two fabulous points inside a minute.
Leo Dunphy and Seamus Og Byrne put Donegal five clear before the tenth minute had bene ticked.
And it got even better when Donegal got in for a goal on 14 minutes. Rooney’s free was misjudged by goalkeeper Mark McCabe and the ball bounced over the Tyrone number 1 into the net.
McCabe redeemed himself three minutes later, tough. A fine Donegal move involving Dunphy and O’Donnell ended with Eric Carr being played in, but McCabe made himself big to make the save.
Tyrone tacked on points from Kevin Barber and Stephen Grugan, but Donegal finished well with Dunphy, Pauric McGettigan and Dylan Duggan giving them a 1-8 to 0-3 interval advantage.
They needed Gillespie’s penalty to get the win, but it’s a triumphant start for the Tir Chonaill youngsters, whose next game is against Antrim on March 21 at Toombridge.
Donegal: Corey Byrne; Jamie Grant, Killian Gibbons, Anthony Doherty; Seamus Og Byrne (0-1), Shane Gillespie, Keelan Gallagher; Pauric McGettigan (0-1), Rory O’Donnell; Shane O’Donnell (0-2), Dylan Duggan (0-1), Stephen McFadden; Senan Rooney (1-1, 1-1f), Eric Carr, Leo Dunphy (0-2, 1f). Subs: Eoin Doherty for Gallagher (half-time), Michael Gaughan for Duggan (half-time), Josh Conlon for Carr (42), Cathal Gillespie (1-0) for Dunphy (46), Nathan Byrne for Rooney (60).
Tyrone: Mark McCabe; Rory Donnelly, Cormac Quinn, Tom Donaghy; Lorcan Kilpatrick, Lorcan McBride (0-1), Ben Groogan; Kevin Barber (0-1), Paddy McCallan; Michael McCann, Ronan Duffan (0-1), Oisin McCann (0-1); Mark Hayes (0-2), Stephen Grugan (0-5, 4f), Cormac Hughes. Subs: Simon Garrity (0-2) for M.McCann (28), Luke Higgins for Hughes (38), John Rafferty for Donaghy (42), Conor Quinn for Donnelly (46), Oisin McCann for Duffan (56).
Referee: James Lewis (Fermanagh).Tags: