TYRONE’S bright hopes of reaching the Ulster Final once again were dashed in emphatic fashion leaving them to now concentrate on the All-Ireland Qualifiers.
It was all downhill for the Red Hands from the moment that Jamie Brennan fired home a goal for Donegal. Minutes later, the black card dismissal of Peter Harte dealt them another severe blow and left them facing an uphill task to make their mark.
A 1-9 to 0-5 scoreline at half-time emphasised the task facing them, and it got little easier on the resumption either. As the tie entered the final quarter, they still trailed, although the closing minutes saw them finally get some momentum. Points from Darren McCurry, Richard Donnelly and Michael Cassidy reduced the deficit and left them needing an equalising goal.
However, it never came as Donegal held on for a 1-16 to 0-15 victory that left Mickey Harte bemoaning the dimissal of Peter Harte.
“Obviously we are very disappointed because we intended to perform much better than we did and intend to have a much better outcome than the one we got,” said Mickey Harte afterwards.
“There were a few key incidents in the first half which changed the script of the game, one of them being the sending off of Peter Harte for this magnificent balck-card which didn’t seem to me to fit any of the criteria necessary for the black card.
“I always felt that it was a deliberate pull down, a trip by hand or foot or obstruction of a player after he passed the ball. I don’t know which of those categories that fell into. To me, it was just a mistime tackle that had a crucial outcome.”