The Donegal panel with the U-20 Development League trophy. Photos Geraldine Diver
Donegal had too much for Tyrone in the final of the U-20 Development League at O’Donnell Park, with two familiar faces scoring the goals.
A goal from Kealan Dunleavy right at the start of the second half was vital, as were five Johnny McGroddy frees and three from the impressive Eric Carr. Bobby McGettigan, a second half substitute, wrapped it up two minutes from time with a second goal for the team captained by Kieran Tobin.
Dunleavy had scored two goals last weekend in the 2-10 to 1-4 victory over Mayo, while McGettigan grabbed two against both Derry and Roscommon in the opening fixtures. All in all, four wins from four and plenty of minutes in the legs meant the Leo Murphy Cup was a good one for Donegal.
Gary Duffy’s side were in control right from the start, excellent in the turnover and having almost a monopoly on possession. A well-taken mark from Eric Carr set the ball rolling after only 45 seconds.
Three frees from McGroddy followed and by the 15th minute, Donegal were 0-4 to 0-0 in front. Tyrone threatened little until that point and then out of nowhere two goal chances came and went.
Firstly, a direct ball in from Michael McGleenan was fisted wide by Ruairí Canavan with his back to goal, perhaps not knowing the space he had. Then, McGleenan drove right at the heart of the Donegal defence and fizzed a shot just wide of Daithi Roberts’ goal.
However, on the third occasion, Tyrone did fashion a goal, with Ruairí McHugh making the break before passing to Canavan, who set up Ciaran Bogue on 17 minutes.
Donegal steadied through a fourth McGroddy free, so on 21 minutes, they were 0-5 to 1-0 ahead. Tyrone, creating another goal chance, although more by accident than design, saw Seanie O’Donnell catch a fluffed Seanie O’Donnell free underneath his own crossbar.
Paul Devlin’s team were now much more involved in the contest and brought their deficit back to just the one - 0-5 to 1-1 behind - when O’Donnell scored a fine point with the outside of the boot. Twenty-eight minutes had been played and it was the first point from play from either side.
Carr, though, 90 seconds later, popped over Donegal’s first from play, with a fine-strike right before the half-time whistle. So, at the break, Donegal were 0-6 to 1-1 to the good.
Right at the start of the second half, having won the throw-in, Donegal worked the ball forward and Dunleavy blasted low under Harry Morgan for a goal. The ball hit the net just 47 seconds into part two.
That put Donegal five points and although Tyrone pulled two back in the next couple of minutes - with McGlennan popping over a free and then McGlennan from play.
No score followed from either side for the next 17 minutes, till McGroddy scored his fifth free on 50 minutes and then Dunleavy and Luke McGlynn scored stylish scores for a 1-9 to 1-3 lead.
Carr was enjoying his day out and he managed to steer over his third point of the afternoon six minutes from the end, following a fine move. Tyrone broke their 24-minute duck with substitute Cormac Devlin scoring before a second Canavan free.
McGettigan, though, rounded off the win and a fine campaign for Donegal whose next outing will be against Armagh in their Ulster U-20 Championship opener on Friday, April 1.
Donegal scorers: Johnny McGroddy (0-5, 5f), Kealan Dunleavy (1-1), Bobby McGettigan (1-0), Eric Carr (0-3, 1m), Luke McGlynn (0-1)
Tyrone scorers: Ciaran Bogue (1-0), Ruairí Canavan (0-2, 2f), Seanie O’Donnell, Michael McGlennan, Cormac Devlin and Brian Conway (0-1 each),
Donegal: Daithi Roberts (Gaoth Dobhair); Kieran Tobin (St Eunan’s), Sean Doherty (Buncrana), Ryan McShane (Kilcar); Caolan McColgan (Naomh Padraig, Uisce Chaoin), Jack Gallagher (Glenswilly), Kealan Dunleavy (Glenswilly); Eric Carr (Naomh Columba), Drew McKinney (Naomh Padraig, Uisce Chaoin); Luke McGlynn (Glenfin), Johnny McGroddy (Downings), David Boyle (St Eunan’s); Eoin Dowling (St Eunan’s), Ciaran Moore (St Eunan’s), Paul O’Hare (Naomh Columba). Subs: Domhnaill McBride (Gaoth Dobhair) and Bobby McGettigan (Termon) for Gallagher and Boyle (half-time), Oisin Caulfield (Na Rossa) for Moore (51), Fionan Coyle (Gaoth Dobhair) for O’Hare (59), Ferdia Doherty (Naomh Muire) for Carr (60+3)
Tyrone: Harry Morgan; Caolan McGinty; Brian Conway, Eoin Corry; Michael Rafferty, Stephen Donaghy, Niall Devlin; Ruairí McHugh, Dan Muldoon; Odhrán McGrath, Ciaran Bogue, Ruairí Canavan; Seanie O’Donnell, Michael McGlennan, Ciarán Daly. Subs: James Donaghy and Luke Donnelly for McGrath and Muldoon (33), Fionnbharr Taggart for McGinty (41), Cormac Devlin for Bogue (49), Lorcan McGarrity for Daly (54)
Referee: Pat Clarke (Cavan).
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