Tyrone beat Donegal in McKenna Cup opener at Letterkenny

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Tyrone beat Donegal in McKenna opener

Holders Tyrone finished strongly to beat Donegal 0-13 to 1-7 in their Dr McKenna Cup opener at Letterkenny.

Michael Murphy's goal helped Donegal lead 1-5 to 0-5 at half-time with Niall Morgan also saving a Murphy penalty.

However, Tyrone bossed the second half with Paddy McNeice finishing with four points and substitute Peter Hughes also impressing for the Red Hands.

A 45th-minute goal by Niall McConville helped Armagh edge out Queen's 1-17 to 0-15 at the Athletic Grounds.

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At Letterkenny, Donegal, fielding eight of their All-Ireland winners, scored just twice in the second half as an experimental Tyrone stepped up the tempo to win by three.

Donegal's Martin O'Reilly suffered concussion after taking a blow to the head during the second half and will remain in Letterkenny Hospital overnight for further observation.

Two superb Ronan O'Neill points rewarded Tyrone's early dominance, and it wasn't until the 16th minute that Colm McFadden registered Donegal's opening score.

Two Murphy points had the sides level on 0-3 each when Donegal were awarded a penalty for Morgan's foul on debutant Darach O'Connor.

Morgan was perhaps fortunate to avoid a black card for the challenge and the Tyrone keeper exploited his escape to produce a stunning save to keep out Murphy's kick.

But Murphy darted through a massive gap in the Tyrone defence to drill home a 31st-minute goal as the home side took a 1-5 to 0-5 lead into the interval despite having played against the breeze.

However, Tyrone regrouped in the second half with early scores from McNeice and Ronan O'Neill and when Morgan converted a '45, followed by another McNeice score, they were level.

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Murphy nudged Donegal back in front, and Donegal goalkeeper Paul Durcan pulled off a superb save to deny Mattie Donnelly, but gifted an equalising point to McNeice with a poor kick-out.

Donegal appeared to lose their composure after O'Reilly sustained his injury and Rory Kavanagh was forced out of the action by a black card in the 58th minute.

Murphy looked fortunate to avoid a red card after appearing to strike Shay McGuigan, with referee Barry Cassidy instead handing the home captain a yellow card.

Morgan's third long-range place kick and a point from the impressive Hughes sealed Tyrone's victory.

At Armagh, the sides were tied on numerous occasions in the opening half, including at the interval at 0-8 apiece.

Earlier Robbie Tasker picked up the first black card of the game after 23 minutes, with the game tied at 0-5 each at that stage.

Armagh were unlucky not to breach the Queen's goalmouth in the opening half, with Eugene McVerry denied on two occasions.

McConville's three-pointer edged Armagh in front on the restart, and despite the students' best efforts, the Orchard County claimed victory.

POWER NI DR MCKENNA CUP RESULTS

Section A

Donegal 1-07 0-13 Tyrone

Armagh 1-17 0-15 Queen's

Section B

Monaghan 2-11 2-15 Derry

Fermanagh P-P St Mary's College

Section C

Antrim 0-12 3-12 Cavan

Down 1-15 0-07 UUJ

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