Ulster U21 Hurling Shield Final:
Tyrone 0-16 Donegal 2-08
Tír Eoghain have won the 2013 Ulster U21 Hurling Shield by defeating Dún na nGall at Celtic Park Derry last night on a score line of 0-16 to 2-8.
Conditions were ideal for hurling and Coiste Contae Doire are to be commended for their hosting of the game. Both teams had their period of supremacy over the 60 minutes and both contributed to a most entertaining game of hurling.
Tír Eoghain, playing towards the pavilion end and with a slight wind advantage, made the more promising start, building up a lead mainly through the expert free taking of midfielder and captain Damien Casey.
Firm defending in the first half from Conor McNally and Tiarnan Morgan who contained the Dún nan Gall forwards also contributed to Tír Eoghain’s first half advantage of 11 points to 4.
Donegal’s much improved all round performance in the second half ensured no easy win for their opponents. They were now winning at midfield through Justin Brown and Conor Parke and eating into the Tyrone lead. A well taken goal from Colm Kelly twenty minutes into the second half gave the Tir Chonaill men renewed confidence, realising the game was still there to be won. A point from Christopher Bonnar preceded Dún na nGall’s second goal scored by Conor McCormack in the final minutes which guaranteed a spirited finish to the game, but Tyrone were able to hold on and secure the victory.
Apart from those already mentioned, there were noteworthy performances from Eamon Duffin and Kiefer Morgan for Tyrone and Shane Gallen and Ronan McDermott of Donegal.
Dún nan Gall will ponder the outcome had they performed better in the first half, while Tír Eoghain will be grateful to have Damien Casey in their ranks who finished with a twelve point tally.
As result of their Shield victory, Tyrone will now entertain Armagh in the quarter final of the Bord Gais Energy Ulster U21 Hurling Championship on 10th July.
Thanks must also go to referee Noel Mullaney and his officials for their excellent contribution to the game.