They also needed the points to stay in the Allianz League Division 1 and can head to Kerry next weekend knowing their status in the top division is secure.
A second goal early in the second half from Jamie Brennan set them off and despite Tyrone threatening multiple times, the home team always had the upper hand.
Some regulars were missing on either side as Patrick McBrearty, Michael Langan and Odhrán McFadden Ferry were absent for Donegal while Peter Harte and Cathal McShane were notable Tyrone absenteeists.
After Mayo beat Galway earlier in the day this game turned into real competition with relegation being a great fear for Donegal while Tyrone looked both up and down.
They said it was cage and that’s how it worked with defenses packed from the start.
Donegal owned the ball for the first minute and a half, with Tyrone not being touched when Jamie Brennan scored the first goal with his left. Brennan also added the second after Neil McGee called off a Tyrone attack and Oisin Gallen took over the support.
Liam Rafferty put Tyrone on the board after five minutes, but Hugh McFadden immediately found Michael Murphy with a long pass and Murphy could have hit a mark but kept playing and shot past with his left.
Conall McCann cut the lead by one mark before Donegal scored the first goal and it was a good move with Peadar Mogan starting and ending the move. He combined with Niall O’Donnell before shooting through Niall Morgan.
Frank Burns had Tyrone’s third point off a mark before being equated with a very random award of a penalty. A high ball into Donegal’s goal dropped Conor McKenna to the ground.
Stephen McMenamin was closest to it, but it looked very soft. Darren McCurry bored home from punishment.
Niall O’Donnell pushed Donegal back forward before the water break, but Mattie Donnelly equalized again on the restart.
Then, in three minutes, Donegal hit a small purple four-dot blotch. Ciaran Thompson released her after a foul on Niall O’Donnell. Ryan McHugh, O’Donnell and McHugh added points again in quick succession, with Jamie Brennan taking on a Niall Morgan goal.
Liam Rafferty and Michael McKernan reduced the deficit to two in the half hour, while Michael Murphy completed the first half and shot over a free kick after a foul by Oisin Gallen.
The lead had dipped to one within two minutes of the second half, with quick fire points from Kieran McGeary and a Darren McCurry free.
Donegal scored a second goal with Ryan McHugh and Michael Murphy in the 39th minute before Jamie Brennan came home.
Jamie Brennan won two free kicks for Michael Murphy to point either side of a Niall Morgan ’45’ to give Donegal a 2-11 to 1-9 lead in the 45th minute.
Conor McKenna, back from Australia, got his first point for the Red Hands. Ryan McHugh hit a glorious point, but Darren McCurry responded with in-kind contributions to keep four of them in the second half of the water break.
Michael Murphy shot over a free kick from 49 yards and Ciaran Thompson extended the lead from another free kick to six. Conor McKenna and David Mulgrew cut off the lead five minutes from time.
There was still time for a dramatic ending. Caolan McGonagle and Murphy pushed Donegal forward six times, but Conor McKenna scored for a nice goal. But it wasn’t enough and Andrew McClean added an insurance point in the final seconds.
Tyrone ended up with 13 men, losing to Kieran McGeary and Rory Brennan in the final minutes.
Goalscorers – Donegal: Michael Murphy 0-06,5f; Jamie Brennan 1-02; Peadar Mogan 1-00; Ryan McHugh 0-03; Niall O’Donnell, Ciaran Thompson (2f) jeweils 0-02; Caolan McGonagle, Andrew McClean 0-01 Pferd.
Tyrone: Conor McKenna 1-02; Darren McCurry 1-02,1-00pen, 1f; Liam Rafferty 0-02; Niall Morgan (45), Kieran McGeary, Michael McKernan (m), Matthew Donnelly, Conall McCann (m), Frank Burns (m) und David Mulgrew jeweils 0-01.
Donegal: Shaun Patton; Eoghán Bán Gallagher, Neil McGee und Stephen McMenamin; Ryan McHugh, Paul Brennan and Jeaic Mac Ceallabhui; Hugh McFadden, Caolan McGonagle; Peadar Mogan, Niall O’Donnell, Ciaran Thompson; Jamie Brennan, Michael Murphy and Oisin Gallen.
Subs: Andrew McClean for Gallen 45; Jason McGee for H McFadden 55; Dáire Ó Baoill for Mac Ceallabhui 62; Paddy McGrath for P Brennan 65
Tyrone: Niall Morgan; Liam Rafferty, Ronan McNamee and Rory Brennan; Tiarnan McCann, Kieran McGeary, Michael McKernan; Padraig Hampsey, Frank Burns; Matthew Donnelly, Conor McKenna and Darren McCurry; Niall Sludden, Conall McCann and Conor Meyler.
Subs: David Mulgrew for Sludden ht; Michael O’Neill for Burns 46; Ronan O’Neill for C McCann 47; Ben McDonnell for Hampsey 63;
Referee: Jerome Henry (Mayo)