Donegal were surprise winners over Tyrone at Healy Park on Saturday, keep their unbeaten run intact and condemning the home side to their second league defeat.
Despite a nervous opening, the visitors got their defensive problems in order, and limited Tyrone’s attack to a few opportunities.
When substitute Dermot Molloy scored the only goal of the game three minutes into the second half, there was to be no way back for the red hands. They could only muster a single point in the second half, and now face a battle to avoid relegation.
Tyrone began the first half well with Peter Harte and Enda McGinley to the fore as they opened up a 0-4 to 0-1 lead. Donegal’s sole point in the first 20 minutes came from Colm McFadden.
With Kevin Hughes and Niall McKenna on top at midfield, Donegal got little possession and star forward Michael Murphy struggled up front.
He finally hit the target in the 22nd minute, knocking over a point and winning the free which McFadden converted. Murphy then brought the sides level with a free of his own.
Donegal went in front for the first time when Karl Lacey sent centre back Leo McLoone through and the latter found the target. Lacey, Neil McGee and Paddy McGrath succeeded in snubbing out the Tyrone threat, but a third free from Penrose saw the sides go in level at the break, 0-5 apiece.
Substitute Molloy scored a Donegal goal just three minutes in the second half, and this proved to be the turning point of the game. Tyrone scored just one point in the second half, a Sean Cavanagh free, and struggled to break down a Donegal defence in which Karl Lacey, Paddy McGrath, Neil McGee and Leo McLoone excelled.
Murphy and McFadden added further points as Donegal ran out deserving winners in the finish.
Tyrone: P McConnell, A McCrory, C McCarron, R McMenamin, D Harte, C Gormley, D Carlin, K Hughes, N McKenna, P Harte (0-1), B McGuigan, S Cavanagh (0-1, f), M Penrose (0-3, 3f), S O’Neill, E McGinley (0-1).
Subs: O Mulligan for McKenna, A Cassidy for McGuigan, D McCaul for McCarron
Donegal: P Durkan, P McGrath, N McGee, K Mulhern, K Lacey, L McLoone (0-1), A Thompson, M McElhinney, R Bradley, D Walsh, M McHugh, D McLaughlin, S Griffin, M Murphy (0-3, 2f), C McFadden (0-4, 3f).
Subs: F McGlynn for Mulhern, D Molloy (1-2) for Walsh, C Classon for Bradley, A Hanlon for Griffin
Referee: P Fox (Westmeath).