Thursday 27 April 2017

Brennan holds nerve to secure a replay

EirGrid Ulster U-21 FC QF: Tyrone 0-14 Donegal 0-14

Michael Carroll of Donegal attempts to power past Fergal Meenagh of Tyrone. Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile
Michael Carroll of Donegal attempts to power past Fergal Meenagh of Tyrone. Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportdesk

Not even extra-time could separate Tyrone and Donegal last night in Omagh.

They do it all again next week in Ballybofey after a tense stalemate, during which the sides were level ten times.

Lee Brennan's '45', cancelling out Eoghan Ban Gallagher's score, in the second period of extra-time, ensured a second evening out.

Tyrone could have snatched it right at the death, but goalkeeper Danny Rodgers thwarted Feargal Meenagh with a magnificent one-handed save.

From the follow-up, the defence somehow managed to keep it out and Donegal held on to force extra-time - although they should have had things wrapped up long before then.

Donegal registered nine wides in the first half, but had a 0-5 to 0-4 lead at the break as Michael Langan struck superbly in the 29th minute.

Paul Donaghy of Tyrone in action against Emmett McNabb of Donegal. Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile
Paul Donaghy of Tyrone in action against Emmett McNabb of Donegal. Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

These teams have had some ferocious jousts of late, but the start here was rather tepid and Tyrone led 0-3 to 0-1 at the midway point of the first period.

Dáire Ó Baoill and Stephen McBrearty drew the Tir Chonaill men level, and excellent scores by Adam Neely and Langan, either side of a Lee Brennan free, gave them the edge.

Donegal began the second half with an instant point as Langan landed a '45' after Jamie Brennan had raced through to see a shot fly out behind off a Tyrone defender.

Donegal had a big goal chance in the 55th minute, but Niall Kelly brilliantly dispossessed Conor Morrison at the vital moment.

Tony McCleneghan of Donegal eyes up a pass as David Mulgrew of Tyrone applies pressure. Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile
Tony McCleneghan of Donegal eyes up a pass as David Mulgrew of Tyrone applies pressure. Photo: Philip Fitzpatrick/Sportsfile

Kelly's intervention was key as Brennan's free soon had the Red Hands in the lead, but Langan levelled the tie again.

Tyrone will feel that they should have kicked on after hitting four in a row, with sub Conor McLernon causing Donegal all sorts of difficulty after his introduction.

Shooting boots

With Langan finding his shooting boots, Donegal came back into it and Micheál Carroll was denied a goal by Tyrone keeper Benny Gallon.

Brennan and Langan traded scores in the final moments to set up the extra period, where Donegal were pegged back three times.

Scorers - Tyrone: D Mulgrew, L Brennan (1f, 1 '45') 0-3 each, M O'Neill 0-2, P Donaghy, L Rafferty, N Donnelly, C McLernon, F Meenagh, J Harkin 0-1 each Donegal: M Langan 0-6 (1 '45', 3fs), S McBrearty (2f) 0-3, A Neely (1f) 0-2, D O'Baoill, T McClenaghan, E Gallagher 0-1 each.

Tyrone - B Gallon; N Kelly, P Teague, C Shields; L Rafferty, M McKernan, F Meenagh; B O'Donnell, R Loughran; M O'Neill, D Mulgrew, N Donnelly; L Brennan, B Kennedy, P Donaghy. Subs: C McLernon for Kennedy (h-t), J Harkin for O'Donnell (48), E McNabb for Donaghy (53), E Murray for Rafferty (57), R Coleman for Loughran (BC, 60), C McGlinchey for O'Neill (68), J McGlone for Donnelly (75).

Donegal - D Rodgers; C Morrison, S McMenamin, E Gallagher; B McCole, D Ó Baoill, C Kelly; C McGonagle, T McClenaghan; C Fildara, M Langan, M Carroll; A Neely, J Brennan, S McBrearty. Subs: E O'Donnell for McLaughlin (42), C Mulligan for Neely (45), R Carr for McGonagle (58), N Friel for Carr (61), D Monagle for Mulligan (65), Mulligan for Brennan (68), D Gallagher for Kelly (72), Carr for Langan (78).

Ref - C Branagan (Down)

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