Ladies pipped to title by Tipp

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

THE Tyrone ladies suffered heartbreak at Croke Park when they lost out to Tipperary in the All-Ireland Intermediate Football Championship.



The Red Hands didn't do themselves justice on their big day, and will reflect on a game they could have won with deep regrets.

Their failure to execute scoring opportunities early in the game was to cost them dearly in the end as the Munster side used their experience to close out the game

"If we had got those opportunities early on, it settles you down on a big day at Croke Park. they did that and we didn't, and that set the tone and left a big gap in it at half-time, and they're an experienced side and they just kept us at arm's length," said Tyrone manager Gerry Moane

"We had opportunities to go and get level and get a foothold in the game, but we didn't execute them, and that's devastating for the girls that they didn't do that, because they have put in a massive effort all year.

"On the biggest day of all it didn't happen for them, and that's disappointing. they left it in the dressing room, they left it in Garvaghey, they didn't bring it to the biggest stage of all. But some of them are young, they'll learn."

However, Moane is optimistic about the future for a talented Red Hand side.

"Tyrone ladies football is in a different place than it was before, and if this group stays together, it will happen for them.

"The talent is there, but there's a lot of work to do, and they will learn from that there, that they will need to be physically stronger to deal with those challenges.

"This experience of Croke Park will do those girls no end of good, because it will build their confidence, they'll know how to play on big days, and what it takes, physically and mentally to cope on those big days, and they will do that, I have no doubt about that. The talent is just oozing out of them."

The manager was disappointed that his side failed to deal with Tipperary's defensive system.

"It was disappointing that we didn't move them about enough, we seemed to get sucked down the side of the sweeper.

"We knew they were going to set up like that, we just didn't execute what we were supposed to do, to stretch the out, we didn't use the wide open spaces of Croke Park to our benefit.

"We played into their hands to a degree, and that's inexperience, and we have to learn from that."

And Tipperary's first half goal was a big setback that Tyrone never really recovered from.

"It was on the cards, because we invited them on to a degree.

"We didn't execute our chances and they got a turnover and went down the field and they where clinical. They punished us for our mistakes, and fair play to them, they were the better team on the day."

Tipp found themselves on the back foot right from the start, as Lauren Fitzpatrick denied Lycrecia Quinn with a brilliant save after 15 seconds.

But the Munster champions settled and went 0-3 to 0-1 clear before Gráinne Rafferty slotted home a 16th minute goal for Tyrone.

Tipperary's response was emphatic, as Howard and McCarthy (free) landed points, before McCarthy grabbed an 18th minute goal.

O'Brien almost got in for a second Tipp goal a minute later, but Shannon Lynch pulled off a brilliant save.

A point from O'Brien completed Tipp's purple patch but at the other end, they were opened up in the 23rd minute by a slick Tyrone move, but Niamh O'Neill blazed wide with a great chance of a goal.

Gemma Begley, one of Tyrone's 2010 senior finalists, completed the first half scoring but Tipp had a four-point interval lead, and they protected it in the second half.

The lead was out to five points early in the second half and while Fitzpatrick saved from Begley, Tipp were managing to keep Tyrone at bay.

Chloe McCaffrey's magnificent point in the 47th minute brought Tyrone to within three but a couple of McCarthy frees pushed the gap out to five again.

Tyrone weren't finished as Maria Canavan (free) and Begley landed late points - but Tipp held on to claim the title.


Tipperary: L Fitzpatrick; S Condon, M Curley, E Buckley; B Condon, S Lambert, L Dillon; A McCarthy (1-4, 0-4f), J Grant; N Lonergan, M Morrissey (0-2), A Moloney (0-1); R Howard (0-2), G O'Brien (0-4), O O'Dwyer.

Subs: C Condon for Lonergan (47), C Walsh for Howard (56).


Tyrone: S Lynch; E Brennan, E Mulgrew, C Conway; N Woods, S Cunningham, C Hunter; M Mallon, E.J. Gervin (0-2); N Hughes, L Quinn, Á Canavan; N O'Neill (0-1), G Begley (0-4, 3f), G Rafferty (1-0).

Subs: N McGirr for Conway (20), M Canavan (0-2f) for Rafferty (37), E Hegarty for Á Canavan (37), C McCaffrey (0-1) for Quinn (50).


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