Tyrone Vs Donegal – 2012 Ulster GAA Senior Football Championship

Tyrone took on Donegal in a repeat of last year’s Ulster semi-final tie in which Donegal won by a small margin. This time the outcome was the same unfortunately as Tyrone lost out 0-12 to 0-10 as Donegal continued to utilise their defensive game plan to the full potential,  suffocating any Tyrone attacks or movement in the Donegal half…. it was horrible to watch and it’s horrible for the sport.

Tyrone made the stronger start in the first half thanks to terrific work from Matthew Donnelly (in for Ronan Mc Nabb), Mark Donnelly, Joe Mc Mahon and Conor Clarke (in for the injured Justin Mc Mahon) in full-back. Attacking runs around the Donegal defence from the wings seemed to be working and they were unlucky not to score a goal in the half too. The Red Hands dominated for long periods in possession but perhaps didn’t get enough scores on the board resulting in them going only 1 point up at half time; Tyrone 0-06 Donegal 0-05.

The second half saw what we had come to expect from Donegal, lots of men behind the ball and plenty of swift counter-attacking. Donegal soon were racking the scores up as Tyrone’s scores were drying up. It wasn’t long until Tyrone went 1 point, 2 points and then 3 points behind. Tyrone made a few changes during the half, including the return of Brian Mc Guigan into the team, but it wasn’t to be as Donegal’s fitness meant they had more left in the tank. Tyrone did come close in injury time when a Martin Penrose shot on goals was saved by Durcan but it wasn’t meant to be as they dropped out of the Ulster Championship on a scoreline of Tyrone 0-10 Donegal 0-12.

Tyrone now enter the All-Ireland qualifiers and take on Roscommon in 2 weeks time – hopefully they can get their confidence built again with a couple wins under their belt and then they can re-enter the Championship at the All-Ireland stages. As for Donegal, they now take on Down in the Ulster Final, here’s hoping for a big performance from the Mourne men to put this over-rated, over-hyped team to bed…. they put a whole new meaning to ‘puke’ football!

Michael Murphy and Stephen O’Neill in for the handshake as referee David Coldrick looks on.


The Tyrone team take part in the procession before the game…… took this with my 10mm lens lying down on the ground to get as many of the 15 players in as possible.


Mark Donnelly keeps close to Donegal’s Karl Lacey.

Matthew Donnelly shields the ball from a Donegal tackle.


Matthew Donnelly remains ahead of Donegal’s Mark Mc Hugh. Both players also sport the popular Murphy’s Gaelic Gloves in two colours!




Owen Mulligan pulls away from a Donegal tackle.


Mark Donnelly’s shot on goal is blocked by Paddy Mc Grath.


Colm Cavanagh uses his strength to push forward.


Mark Donnelly in action for Tyrone in the first half.


Mark Donnelly collides with Donegal’s Rory Kavanagh.


Owen Mulligan was given little space to move on Saturday.


Rory Kavanagh scores a point for Donegal in the second half.


Donegal’s David Walsh scores another point.


Conor Clarke keeps close to Michael Murphy.


Midfield action from Clones on Saturday.


Aidan Mc Crory and Ronan Mc Nabb defend for Tyrone.


Aidan Mc Crory gets a hold of Donegal’s Karl Lacey.


Michael Murphy shields the ball with his body from Joe Mc Mahon.


Donegal manager Jim Mc Guinness checks his watch during injury time.


A dejected Sean O’Neill at the full time whistle.


The Tyrone players cool down after the game as the crowds leave the terraces at St Tiernach’s Park, Clones.


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