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Donegal get just deserts

Donegal handed a shock defeat to Tyrone at Healy Park last night, and thoroughly deserved their seven-point success.

The Red Hands are now facing a battle to avoid relegation for a second successive season after a desperately disappointing display which saw them score just one point in the second half.

After watching his side being dominated throughout the opening quarter, Donegal boss Jim McGuinness moved to tighten up his defence, and Paddy McGrath and Karl Lacey in particular responded.

They found a way to close down a Tyrone attack that had built up a 0-4 to 0-1 lead, with Martin Penrose converting a couple of frees, and Peter Harte and Enda McGinley also on target.

The Red Hands could also have had an early penalty, but referee Pat Fox saw nothing wrong with Neil McGee's challenge on Niall McKenna.

Michael Murphy and Colm McFadden hit a couple of scores each, and it was centre back Leo McLoone who gave Donegal a brief lead, before Penrose's third free sent the sides in level on 0-5 each.

But Donegal hit the front with a goal from substitute Dermot 'Brick' Molloy three minutes into the second half, netting from close range after Pascal McConnell had saved from Anthony Thompson.

The home side failed to score in the third quarter, unable to break the stranglehold established by McLoone and the excellent Neil McGee

Murphy and McFadden tagged on another handful of points from frees, and as they eased into a double scores lead, 1-9 to 0-6 by the 60th minute, still there was no sign of a Tyrone backlash,

Sean Cavanagh did stroke over a free, but this was to be Donegal's night, and deservedly so.

They march on confidently to a meeting with Kildare, while Tyrone are staring at a battle to avoid relegation to Division 3.

Scorers -- Tyrone: M Penrose 0-3 (3f), S Cavanagh (f), P Harte, E McGinley 0-1 each. Donegal: D Molloy 1-2, C McFadden 0-4 (3f), M Murphy 0-3 (2f), L McLoone

Tyrone: P McConnell, A McCrory, C McCarron, R McMenamin, D Harte, C Gormley, D Carlin, K Hughes, N McKenna, P Harte, B McGuigan, S Cavanagh, M Penrose, S O'Neill, E McGinley. Subs: O Mulligan for McKenna, A Cassidy for McGuigan, D McCaul for McCarron

Donegal: P Durkan, P McGrath, N McGee, K Mulhern, K Lacey, L McLoone, A Thompson, M McElhinney, R Bradley, D Walsh, M McHugh, D McLaughlin, S Griffin, M Murphy, C McFadden. Subs: F McGlynn for Mulhern, D Molloy for Walsh, C Classon for Bradley, A Hanlon for Griffin

Referee: P Fox (Westmeath).

Sunday Indo Sport