Hurling & Camogie

Decimated Donegal edged out by Tyrone

The Red Hands will face Derry in next weekend’s finals

Derry's Christy McNaughton with Lorcan Devlin of Tyrone
Derry's Christy McNaughton and Tyrone's Lorcan Devlin Derry's Christy McNaughton and Tyrone's Lorcan Devlin will meet again in the Divison 2B final Picture Margaret McLaughlin (Margaret McLaughlin Photography )

Allianz Hurling League Division 2B final

Donegal 3-14 Tyrone 5-9

A VASTLY more experienced Tyrone side held off a decimated Donegal to book their spot in the Division 2B final after an eight-goal thriller in Letterkenny on Saturday.

The home side were without Gerard Gilmore, Steven McBride, Josh Cronolly McGee, Sean Ward, Dean Harvey, Bernard Lafferty and Ruairi Campbell, on a club trip to Portugal with county champions Setanta, while the injured Declan Coulter and Danny Cullen are not expected back until the Nickey Rackard Cup begins next month.

Donegal had a chance of a draw with the last puck of the game but Luke White’s effort from 75 metres went wide as Mickey McCann’s side were left to six second-half wides.

Tyrone’s edge in experience and physique was crucial in those final moments when Donegal had chances, but inexperience showed with over-elaboration in front of the posts.

The game exploded into life after just 16 seconds when Peter Kelly goaled for Donegal, who found the net again through Sean McVeigh after Tyrone points from Lorcan Devlin and Ben Gormley.

Cormac Munroe responded with Tyrone’s first goal, with Joe McToal adding another two minutes later to give them a 2-2 to 2-1.

Sean Og Grogan and Devlin for Tyrone and Kelly again for Donegal raised further green flags and the visitors led 4-5 to 3-3 at the break.

Tiernan Morgan scored Tyrone’s fifth goal to go seven ahead but they could only manage three more points while Donegal chipped away, getting to within one in injury-time. The Red Hands held on, however, to book a final clash with Derry.