Despite being uncomfortable with the tag of favourites, Donegal proved the faith the bookies placed in them was justified as they powered their way to an Ulster final meeting with Down.
Winning by two points, 0-13 to 0-10, Donegal survived a late Tyrone scare when Martin Penrose forced a spectacular late save from Donegal keeper, Paul Durcan.
Penrose had eased Tyrone into a narrow 0-06 to 0-05 half-time lead after the sides had been level on five occasions in the first half.
In the second half scores from Colm McFadden, Michael Murphy and Karl Lacey saw them keep Tyrone scoreless for much of the second half.
Tyrone led by two points early in the second half, but Donegal with the wind a their backs produced a powerful display of running football that swept Tyrone off their feet at times.
The Red Hand men were slower to the ball and Donegal won all the key battles with Tyrone faltering as hurried passes were cleaned up by a massed Donegal defence.
Tyrone led 0-6 to 0-5 lead at the break and another McMahon free had the Red Hands two points ahead early in the second half, but Donegal, with a brace from Rory Kavanagh began to dominate and were 0-13 to 0-8 ahead when Tyrone cut the margin to a goal.
In three minutes of added time, Donegal were nervous, and the excellent foot saving style of ‘keeper Paul Durcan denied Tyrone what would have, on balance, been an undeserved draw.
Colm McFadden was sent off for a second booking, but Donegal shut up shop to book their place in their second final in a row.
Donegal scorers: M Murphy (3f), C McFadden (2f) 0-3 each, R Kavanagh 0-2, R Bradley, K Lacey, P McBrearty, M McHugh 0-1 each
Tyrone scorers: Stephen O’Neill, J McMahon (2f) 0-2 each, C Clarke, C Gormley (45), D Carlin, Sean O’Neill; Mark Donnelly, M Penrose 0-1 each
Donegal: P Durcan, P McGrath, N McGee, F McGlynn, E McGee, K Lacey, A Thompson, R Kavanagh, N Gallagher, David Walsh, R Bradley, M McHugh, P McBrearty, M Murphy, C McFadden.
Subs: Declan Walsh for N McGee (3), M McElhinney for Gallagher (54), M O’Reilly for David Walsh (54), L McLoone for Bradley (68), C Toye for McBrearty (72)
Tyrone: P McConnell, A McCrory, C Clarke, D Carlin, R McMenamin, C Gormley, Sean O’Neill, J McMahon, C Cavanagh, Mattie Donnelly, Mark Donnelly, P Harte, M Penrose, Stephen O’Neill, O Mulligan
Subs: R McNabb for Mulligan (49), B McGuigan for Mattie Donnelly (61), A Cassidy for Mark Donnelly (65), N McKenna for McMenamin (65)
Referee: D Coldrick (Meath).
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