IF ever there was a six-point hammering, then it was Tyrone’s defeat to Donegal, and Red Hands boss Mickey Harte was left picking up the pieces of his side’s worst defeat in two years on Saturday evening.
Tyrone travelled to a dark and stormy Ballybofey as league leaders but were left chasing shadows by a Donegal side looking ominously good for this time of year.
A late flurry of scores gave Donegal a 0-9 to 0-4 lead at the half-time interval, and Tyrone only managed another two points in 44 minutes of second-half football.
Needless to say it was a bad-tempered affair at the best of times, reflected in David Coldrick’s decision to append nine minutes of injury time, but Harte was more concerned with his side’s disjointed performance.
He said, “I don’t think they weren’t trying. Their decision-making wasn’t quite as you’d expect it to be. When that sets in there’s a bit of a malaise that comes with it.
“After one misplaced pass then another and another, Donegal are picking off a few points in the meantime. That’s hard to get out of, particularly against a team like Donegal.
“|f you give them a lead, they’re very good at protecting it.
“The players tried very hard, the conditions didn’t suit our running game, as a good dry sod would do. We didn’t manage it very well and we got a bad beating and we have to live with that.”
FULL COVERAGE IN TODAY’S TYRONE HERALD
Tyrone have underlined their All Ireland credentials by crushing Down in Sunday's Ulster Championship Final