Dr McKenna Cup final: Donegal 1-16 Tyrone 1-12

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Donegal manager Declan Bonner is pleased with his side's McKenna Cup win

Donegal have ended Tyrone's dominance of the McKenna Cup after coming out on top an entertaining final at the Athletic Grounds.

Tyrone were denied a seventh straight title as Donegal registered their first McKenna Cup success since 2010.

Harry Loughran and Martin McElhinney exchanged first-half goals as Donegal won out by 1-16 to 1-12.

Donegal's Michael Murphy came off the bench to score three points and steer his side to a deserved win.

Tyrone finished the game with just 14 men after captain Matthew Donnelly was shown a second yellow card during a tense finish.

The two neighbours will renew their rivalry in just two week's time when they meet in round five of the National League.

Forward dominance

Martin McElhinney's first-half goal gave Donegal a three point lead at half time
Martin McElhinney's first-half goal gave Donegal a three point lead at half time

Colm Cavanagh's expected return to action for Tyrone was postponed as the All Star midfielder was one of several late changes made by both managers before throw-in.

The two sides have struggled during the opening rounds of the league and took advantage of the change of competition to showcase their attacking threat.

In free flowing start, the teams combined to score a total of 2-8 during the opening 12 minutes.

Donegal had the better of the early exchanges as Declan Bonner's side used their speed of movement to cut through the Tyrone defence with Ciaran Thompson landing the opening score in the first minute.

Tyrone also showed plenty of attacking ambition and took the lead against the run of play when Loughran grabbed the first goal in the seventh minute.

The centre forward got onto Conal McCann's clever pass and kept his composure to side foot his shot under Shaun Patton.

Donegal regained the lead just two minutes later when McElhinney cut through the Tyrone ranks and dinked a clever finish over the on-rushing Mickey O'Neill to score.

Donegal midfielders Odhran MacNiallais and Hugh McFadden were dominating in the centre of the field, which allowed their side to keep the Red Hands at arm's length throughout the first half.

Wing-back Daire O'Baoill scored two points from play and Marty Reilly also converted a free as Donegal moved into a four point lead after half an hour.

Tyrone found some momentum after Kieran McGeary's long-range effort dropped just under the crossbar and Donegal did well to scramble the ball away.

Mickey Harte's men finished the half strongly as a point by Cathal McCarron and a free by Ronan O'Neill meant there was just three between the teams at the break.

Impact substitutes

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Mickey Harte hits out at the media after Tyrone's McKenna Cup defeat

Tyrone began the second half strongly as McGeary forced a turnover and Declan McClure scored an excellent long-range point.

Niall O'Donnell restored Donegal's three-point lead with the first of three second-half points by the substitute forward.

Harte turned to his bench with the introduction of Matthew Donnelly, Cathal McShane and Peter Harte, while Bonner responded by springing Murphy off the bench in the 41st minute.

O'Neill's free taking was keeping Tyrone in contention and the corner forward briefly drew his side level on 1-10 apiece in the 45th minute after he added three quick scores.

O'Donnell responded with a rapid-fire brace before Murphy showed his class with a superb point that restored Donegal's three-point cushion.

O'Neill and Murphy exchanged further frees before Donnelly was dismissed for a late hit on Thompson that allowed Donegal to clinch the insurance score in injury time.

Tyrone: M O'Neill; A McCrory, C McCarron, B Burns; M Cassidy, R McNabb, K McGeary; P Hampsey, B McDonnell; D McClure, H Loughran, C McCann; D McCurry, R McHugh, R O'Neill.

Replacements: N Morgan, M Donnelly, R Brennan, P Harte, C McAliskey, HP McGeary, C McLaughlin, D Mulgrew, C McShane, C Meyler, N Sludden.

Donegal: S Patton; S McMenamin, C Morrison, F McGlynn; E Doherty, P Brennan, D O'Baoill; O MacNiallais, H McFadden; C Thompson, M McElhinney, M McHugh; C McGonigle, S McBrearty, M Reilly.

Replacements: P Boyle, C McGinley, N O'Donnell, B McCole, N McGee, J McGee, J Brennan, C Ward, M Murphy, D O'Connor.

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