Donegal 4-13A remarkable game of hurling finished all square at Owenbeg as Tyrone and Donegal couldn’t be seperated in their promotion/ relegation play-0ff. A disputed free in the dying seconds of normal time levelled things for Donegal when man of the match Justin Kelly looked to have been pulled back only for the Cavan referee James Clarke to award the free against him. In extra time it was the turn of Tyrone skipper Damien Casey to keep his cool to fire over a equaliser with virtually the last puck of the game. This was a classic Ulster derby, Donegal led by eight points at one stage of the first half as Ronan McDermott found the net three times in the opening thirty five minutes, yet into the second period that so much talked about “Tyrone character” shone through, inspired by great midfield performances by the Kellys, Justin and Aidan , some superb defending by Dermott Begley, the injured Mike O’Gorman and Conor McNally and of course the scoring charge led by Casey, the Grogans,Sean Og and Conor , Tyrone were back in the tie.
Damien Casey celebrating his Ulster GAA writers merit award win for March rattled in two goals and Sean Og Grogans goal with two minutes to go put Tyrone in front for the first time. Donegal equalised but Justy Kellys long range effort looked to have won the game only for that disputed free was scored by Henderson.
Into extra time Conor Grogans speculative effort from seventy yards dropped into the Donegal net and Casey added a point, again Henderson was on target with two points to leave three between them at the break. Remarkably with five minutes to go McDermott found the net for a fourth time and levelled matters again, Lafferty put Donegal in front only for Casey to keep his head to latch on a much deserved equaliser with the last puck of the game. Tyrone boss Mattie Lennon admitted that the late free against Tyrone to tee up the equaliser could have went either way
Tyrone Scorers: Damien Casey 2-8, Conor Grogan 1-1, Sean Og Grogan 1-1, Gearld Gilmore 0-1, Justin Kelly 0-1, Padraig McHugh 0-1
Donegal Scorers: Ronan McDermott 4-0, Lee Henderson 0-8 Bernard Lafferty 0-2, Enda McDermott 0-2 Jack O’Loughlin 0-1
Tyrone: John Devlin, Conor Mc Nally, Mike O’Gorman, Conor Casey, Padraig Mc Hugh Dermot Begley, Tiernan Morgan, Justin Kelly, Aidan Kelly, Mark Winters, Damien Casey (c) – Christopher Cross, Conor Grogan, Sean Og Grogan, Gerard Gilmore
Subs: Martin Grogan For Conor Casey, Conor Gallagher For Cross, Ruairi Devlin For Gilmore. Gilmore For Devlin, Cross For Winters, Devlin For Justin Kelly
Donegal: Dylan Laverty, Pauric Doherty, Jamesie Donnelly, Mark Callaghan, Chris McDermott, Joe Boyle, Niall Cleary, Danny Cullen, Ciaran Matthewson, Jack O’Loughlin, Enda McDermott, Kevin Campbell, Lee Henderson, Ronan McDermott, Bernard Lafferty
Subs. Chris Kilgannon For Bernard Lafferty, Lafferty For Matthewson, Jack Matthews For Cleary.