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Fabulous five-goal Red Hands are simply too strong for Donegal

 

By Declan Bogue

Tyrone laid down a marker in Ballybofey on Saturday evening in the Ulster Under-17 Championship, beating their hosts Donegal on a scoreline of 5-12 to 1-10.

After a tense opening half, Shane O'Donnell netted for Collie Holmes' Red Hands youngsters to put them 1-5 to 1-3 in front with 10 minutes of the first half remaining and they finished the half strongly to go in 2-7 to 1-5 in front at the break.

Donegal had made a surprise inclusion with Pauric McGettigan in to start, having been sidelined with a broken wrist over the last number of weeks and while he himself was impressive, they didn't have enough to get to the pace Tyrone were playing at.

Full-forward Mark Hayes was the star of the show for Tyrone, hitting 2-4 altogether and torturing the home defence.

A fourth goal arrived in the second half, courtesy of Michael McGleenan - son of Mattie, the former Tyrone player and current Cavan manager.

Tyrone now face Down in the next round, which will be played over the weekend of May 12/13.

Last week's winners Derry had a setback in trying to retain their Ulster minor crown, once again going to extra-time but losing out to Cavan in Kingscourt with the final score 0-18 to 1-14.

This was the first time the 'extra' extra time law was enforced and both teams played close to 100 minutes of football.

This was the third week in a row Derry have been forced to extra-time.

After chasing the game for long periods, the Oak Leafers used an Eoghan Hawe penalty as a springboard to gain a measure of control.

But it still took an Enda Downey free in the seventh minute of injury time to level the contest (0-12 to 1-9) and force extra-time.

The Breffni Blues went four points clear after the first period of extra-time but Derry pulled it back to a point.

Downey nailed a long-range pressure kick in injury time to force anther two periods of five minutes before a Jack Trainor point won the game for Cavan.

Down reached the semi-finals after a local derby against Armagh went to extra-time, James McCartan's young guns winning out eventually 0-11 to 0-8.

The game was tied at 0-7 each after 60 minutes, Conor Doherty levelling matters as it inched agonisingly to the end, with the curious stat that Down hit no scores whatsoever in the second half. In fact, only three points were scored in that period, by Armagh to level it.

Managed by Paul McGrane, there was a sense that Armagh, having finished the stronger would go on and push for home in the extra-time period, but Sheelan Reavey's points were enough to edge the Mourne men ahead and into the next round.

Indiscipline cost Antrim in their Championship opener against visiting Fermanagh at Corrigan Park. They finished with 13 men and on the wrong wide of a 2-8 to 0-8 scoreline.

After 12 minutes the Erne lads were 1-2 to 0-0 in front and it took 16 minutes for them to get off the mark through a Ciaran O'Neill point.

Just prior to half time they had dragged themselves level with points from Callum Fitzpatrick with two, Oisin Doherty and Brian Rodgers, but Fermanagh tagged on a point at the end to go back to the dressing room a point ahead.

They now meet Cavan in round two.

With the new backdoor in the Minor Championship, there will be a break in the tournament after May 20th, and it will resume at semi-final stage at the end of June, to allow for examinations time.

However, the void left by the minors packing up will be filled by the new under-20 Championship, which are expected to form the curtain-raisers for a lot of the senior football Championship games this summer.

Belfast Telegraph

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