Begley the Difference for Tyrone


Begley Proves Difference for Tyrone





SLIGO 2-10

A powerhouse display by Tyrone’s Gemma Begley on Saturday left Sligo hearts broken at Kingspan Breffni Park in the TG4 all Ireland championship and in turn dumped the yeats county side out of this years new look series. The Tyrone full forward earned the player of the match award with some style as she racked up 1-3, set up further scores for fellow forwards Joline and Cathy Donnelly and also, just for good measure hit the post twice.

Sligo battled hard though and rallied several times however an injury to the impressive Cammie Kennedy rattled Paddy Henrys side and it was Tyrone who eased home to a 3-12 to 2-10 victory and an all Ulster quarter final meeting with Armagh.

Sinead McTiernan came in to the Sligo line up at the start of this one for the injury hit Imelda McNulty, but it was Tyrone who got of to the best possible start  leading 1-2 to no score ,  It could have been worse too, but for a good save by Sligo keeper Katrina Connolly.

Points from Katriona Murphy and Joline Donnelly opened the scoring though  and a Gemma Begley penalty  made it 1-2. Ann Doohers high ball in saw Begley pulled back and she tucked the spot kick home on ten minutes.

Sinead McTiernan replied with a fine Sligo point and despite a Cathy Donnelly point on twelve minutes it was Sligo who hit their best spell in the game. Therese Marren, Marion O’Donnell and a sweetly struck long range effort by Karen Maloney left two points between the sides. Sadly for the Connacht side they could not keep that momentum going as Lynda Donnelly and Woods came into there own on the Tyrone half back line. Cathy Donnelly pointed, Begley latched on a free, before a moment of pure genius by veteran forward Eilish Gormley.

A good direct pass by Joline Donnelly was collected by Gormley , she held off the attentions of Angela Doohan  before driving home a fine goal. Moments later though Gormley who has scored a goal in each of her three championship starts this year shipped a heavy knock that rendered her ineffective for the remainder of the half. She was replaced at the break by Claire McAliskey and is a doubt for the quarter final.

Tyrone kept up the pressure on Connollys goal, Begley hit the base of the post while Connolly tipped a Joline Donnelly effort to the crossbar and away .

Ann Dooher pointed from distance for Tyrone but in a great rally Louise Brett, midfielder Sandra Rowly and Karen Maloney all scored points to leave just six points between the sides at the break.

Within minutes of the restart Maloney had cut that to five points, but it was business as usual for the intrepid Tyrone forwards, all of whom were to get on the scoresheet, Sub McAliskeys effort was superbly saved on the line by McTiernan , with her goalkeeper beaten but there was no help for Connolly when Cathy Donnelly palmed home a third goal on seven minutes. Begley the provider supreme, she collected down the right cut inside and out before a deft chip pass found Donnelly who had the easiest of punches to the net.

Tyrones dominance was interjected by the odd Sligo score, including a goal by Emma Cullen, she done well to hold of Maura Kelly to beat Mallaghan. The injury to Kennedy held up the play and once the player was removed for treatment for an ankle injury , replaced by Imelda McNulty, the Yeats county side struggled to find any real drive. Begley and Cathy Donnelly points kept Tyrone ticking over and well in control .Cathy Donnelly should have had a second goal on 24 minutes when Begleys effort fell to Donnelly who’s fine drive was saved by the impressive Sligo keeper.

Claire McAliskey got inside the Sligo defence again and saw her goalward effort sail over the bar for her sides 11th point, while Sligo grabbed a consolation goal with the clock ticking down. Stephanie O’Riellys shot was blocked down but McNulty reacted quickest and the ball sailed home. Marren latched on a 10th point almost directly from the kick out but it was fitting that the player of the match would have the last say, when she drove over a long range point at the death.

Disappointment then for Sligo, they played in fits and starts but failed to get to grips with a determined Tyrone, a much improved Tyrone too who will give Armagh plenty to think about.

Some good displays though from several Sligo personnel, Goalkeeper Connolly was busy at times, Cammie Kennedy worked hard before the injury while Sandra Rowly kept Sarah Donnelly under wraps for much of the tie. Up front Brett, Maloney and Marion O’Donnell tried hard against a solid defence led well by Kelly and Lynda Donnelly.

SLIGO: Katrina Donnelly, Joanne O’Connell, Angela Doohan, Martina Keane, Cammie Kennedy, Grainne O’Gara, Tracey O’Hara, Benice Byrne, Sandra Rowley 0-1. Therese Marren 0-2, Karen Maloney 0-4 (2 frees) Louise Brett 0-1 ( 1free) Sinead McTiernan 0-1, Marion O’Donnell 0-1, Emma Cullen 1-0.

SUBS Ciara Doyle FOR Brett, Etna Flannigan FOR McTiernan, Imelda McNulty 1-0 FOR Kennedy, Stephanie O’Rielly FOR O’Donnell

TYRONE;Elaine  Mallaghan, Sinead McLaughlin, Maura Kelly, Marie Gallagher, Siobhan McGarvey, Lynda Donnelly, Neamh Woods, Lucy Meehan, Sarah Donnelly, Ann Dooher 0-2, Eilish Gormley 1-0, Katrina Murphy 0-1, Joline Donnelly 0-2, Gemma Begley 1-3, Cathy Donnelly 1-3.

SUBS Claire McAliskey 0-1 FOR Gormley, Orla O’Neill FOR J Donnelly, Katrina Daly FOR Murphy, Carol McClinchey FOR Gallagher.

REF Tony Lennon Dublin

Paddy Hunter 17 Lammy Drive Omagh BT78 5JB County Tyrone


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