Date Time Competition Season
24 June 2023 7:00 pm Sam Maguire Cup 2023

Match Report

Tyrone breeze past Donegal to advance

In a mature performance, Tyrone defeated Donegal by eight points at MacCumnahil Park tonight to book their place in the last eight of the Sam Maguire Cup.

Despite winning the toss, Donegal opted to play into the stern Ballybofey breeze during the opening half of this preliminary quarterfinal.  

Within minutes, the home crowd had their head in their hands though, pacy Tyrone forward Ruairi Canavan flashing a shot wide before less than a minute later, snaking in on the left side again and puncing on a poor spill by Donegal goalkeeper, Sean Patton.

Captain Patrick McBrearty got Donegal on the scoresheet four minutes in, but Tyrone continued to enjoy the breeze at their backs, slotting three points via Darren McCurry, Michael McKernon and Darragh Canavan, their two in-form scorers up and running.

It took Donegal five minutes to reply, Oisin Gallen firing a free over before Odhran Doherty pointed from open play to halve the deficit.

McCurry and McBrearty then swapped their second points each before a glorious run forward by McKernon ended with the defender joining them on a brace.

Gallen profited on errant Tyrone as he joined the braces’ party, bringing the gap back to three.

McBrearty kept the home momentum going with his third point but a smartly taken, quickfire double from Canavan put Tyrone four points up once more. 

Home defender Caolan McGonagle roused home hopes with his score on thirty-two minutes but Matthew Donnelly and Canavan’s fourth, despite having brother-in-law Ruairi free inside, fired the visitors to a five-point advantage.

Brian Kennedy extended that to six, becoming Tyrone’s sixth scorer before Gallen wriggled free to cancel it out in first half stoppage time.

That sent Tyrone, who would be rueing sending seven shots wide, in ahead by 0-8 to 1-10 at the interval.

There were more yellow cards than scores in the half’s opening eight minutes, McCurry and Canavan extending their individual tallies as Tyrone widened their lead out to seven.

Tyrone’s lead doubled thanks to McCurry’s fourth point and it took Donegal fourteen minutes into the second half to strike back, despite a raft of replacements, Ciaron Thompson scoring well from the left flank in the fiftieth minute.

Gallen guided another one over, but Donegal needed a goal and replacement Jason McGee could have had one but shot tamely when well placed.

Patton profited from a long-range free before Canavan fired badly wide with a free of his own as Donegal’s third score in a row breathed cautious buoyancy into the Ballybofey audience.

Donnelly and Thompson both hit their own braces before thundering runs were matched by composed finishes from McCurry and Conn Kilpatrick, four-point buffer restored. 

Replacement Luke McGlynn fired over as Donegal reached 0-13 before goal scorer Canavan cleverly swivelled to point, followed by the exceptional Donnelly’s third, 1-18 to 0-13. 

Salt was rubbed deeper in Donegal wounds when Patton’s patchy evening was compounded with a black card in injury time. 

It is Tyrone who triumphed by eight to deservedly reach the quarterfinals and another Sam Maguire intense knockout tie, in Croke Park.


1Shaun Patton Goalkeeper 55'
2Mark Curran 16 Defender
3Brendan McCole Defender
4Caolan McColgan Defender 32'
5Caolan Ward Defender
6Eoghán Bán Gallagher Defender 65'
7Stephen McMenamin Defender
8Caolan McGonagle 21 Midfielder
9Hugh McFadden 19 Midfielder
10Daire O Baoill 24 Forward 43'
11Jamie Brennan Forward
12Ciaran Thompson Forward 50', 63'
14Oisin Gallen Forward 14', 21', 35', 54'
17Patrick McBrearty Forward 4', 16', 27'
18Odhran Doherty 13 Forward 15'
16Gavin Mulreaney 2 Goalkeeper
15Conor O’Donnell Forward
13Jason McGee 18 Forward
19Rory O’Donnell 9 Midfielder
20Dylan Dorrian
21Brian O’Donnell 8 Defender
22Jeaic McKelvey Forward
23John Ross Molloy
24Luke McGlynn 10 Forward 67'
25Johnny McGroddy
26Paul Brennan Defender


1Niall Morgan Goalkeeper
2Michael McKernan Defender 6', 19'
3Ronan McNamee Defender
4Padraig Hampsey Defender
5Cormac Quinn Defender
6Michael O’Neill Defender
7Peter Harte Defender
22Kieran McGeary 17 Defender
8Brian Kennedy Midfielder 35'
9Conn Kilpatrick Midfielder 67'
10Conor Meyler Forward 67'
12Ruairí Canavan 19 Forward 2'
13Darren McCurry Forward 5', 16', 39', 48', 66'
14Matthew Donnelly Forward 33', 61', 71'
15Darragh Canavan 20 Forward 9', 28', 29', 34', 44'
16Lorcan Quinn Goalkeeper
11Joe Oguz Forward
17Frank Burns 22 Defender
18Aidan Clarke 12 Defender
19Niall Devlin 12 Defender
20Richard Donnelly 15 Midfielder
21Nathan McCarron Defender
23Rory Donnelly
24Cathal McShane Forward
25Sean O’Donnell Forward
26Niall Sludden Forward



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