EirGrid Ulster U-20 Final: Tyrone retain Ulster title
EirGrid Ulster U-20 Football Final
TYRONE 1-11 DONEGAL 0-9
By Michael Devlin at St Tiernach’s Park, Clones
Ethan Jordan led the way as Tyrone retained the EirGrid Ulster U-20 Football Championship with a five-point win over Donegal at Clones.
While Darragh Canavan and Tiarnan Quinn had been the leading lights in the Tyrone attack in the run-up to this afternoon’s game, this occasion belonged to corner forward Jordan. The Eglish man rattled off four points in a row in a key second half surge that saw Tyrone go from a point down to four up.
From there, a 50th minute Canavan goal – an easy finish after Jordan’s saved effort fell into his path – gave Tyrone a comfortable lead to see out until the end.
The opening half hour failed to fire the spectator's imagination. Just seven scores were shared between the teams, albeit each of them from play. A cross-field breeze though was proving difficult for both sides, with Tyrone kicking five wides to Donegal’s four.
Kevin Barker got Tyrone underway after two minutes, with Padraig McGettigan replying for Donegal with a well taken score soon after. Aaron Doherty was coming into the game as Donegal’s top scorer, and he opened his account in the ninth minute after shimmying into space to clip over a left foot effort.
Joe Oguz replicated his midfield partner Barker to land a score to tie the game at two each, but the tie was still refusing to kick into life by the midway point of the first half.
A turnover in midfield set Canavan off down the field on the counter, and he fed a pass to Jordan only for the him to fire his shot straight at Ronan McGeehin. Jordan did send over a point a minute later though to move Tyrone ahead by one.
The talented Tiarnan Quinn had been quiet for Tyrone thus far, but he floated over a long-range point to double his side’s lead in the 29th minute, ending a ten-minute scoreless spell between both teams. Donegal corner-back Paul O'Hare though clipped over the last score of the half when he spun through a tackle to score from the right wing.
Donegal raced out of the traps in the second half. Doherty pulled them level before centre-back captain Luke Gavigan launched over a big score to move them ahead for the first time in the game.
Quinn tapped over a 30 metre free for Tyrone soon after to restore parity, and with Oisin Walsh bringing Donegal down to 14 men after receiving a black card, the Jordan show began.
Everything the Eglish man touched in a five minute spell turned to gold, and he brought his tally to 0-5 as Tyrone moved into the ascendancy.
In that time, both teams had goal chances. In the 41st minute Doherty burrowed his way through the heart of the defense and had an effort tipped onto the bar by Tyrone keeper Lorcan Quinn. On the counter, Matthew Murnaghan blazed downfield and fed Tiarnan Quinn, but his low strike cracked off the base of the post.
The game’s only goal came in the 50th minute, and ultimately settled the contest. Quinn and Jordan were involved as the latter’s saved effort fell into the path of Canavan for an easy finish.
McGettigan and sub Johnny McGroddy did respond with points for Donegal, but Tyrone’s lead was safe until referee Darren O’Hare sounded for full time and confirmed back-to-back Ulster U20 titles for the Red Hand County.
Tyrone scorers: Ethan Jordan 0-5, Darragh Canavan 1-0, Tiarnan Quinn 0-2 (1f), Joe Oguz 0-2, Kevin Barker 0-1, Liam Gray 0-1.
Donegal scorers: Aaron Doherty 0-3 (1f), Padraig McGettigan 0-2 (1f), Luke Gavigan 0-1, Paul O’Hare 0-1, Keelin McGroddy 0-1.Johnny McGroddy 0-1 (1m).
TYRONE: Lorcan Quinn; Cormac Quinn, Cormac Munroe, Matthew McCusker; Neil Kilpatrick, Antoin Fox, James McCann; Kevin Barker, Joe Oguz; Tomás Donaghy, Darragh Canavan, Michael Gallagher; Ethan Jordan, Matthew Murnaghan, Tiarnán Quinn.
SUBS: Ryan Jones for T. Donaghy (HT), Simon Garrity for M. Gallagher (51), Liam Gray for J. Oguz (56), Eunan Devlin for N. Kilpatrick (61), Caolan Slevin for Jordan (61)
DONEGAL: Ronan McGeehin; Oisin Walsh, Conor O’Donnell, Paul O’Hare; Cormac Finn, Luke Gavigan, Peter McEniff; Rory O’Donnell, Richard O’Rourke; Ronan Frain, Aaron Doherty, Keelan McGroddy; Matthew Duffy, Pádraig McGettigan, Ethan Harkin.
SUBS: Conor McHugh for P. O’Hare (40), Johnny McGroddy for E. Harkin (44), Eric Carr for R. Frain (48), Lanty Molloy for R. O’Rourke (52), Ryan Brogan for O. Walsh (58)
Referee: Darren O’Hare (An Dún)