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2024 TG4 All-Ireland Finals tickets

Cracking minor semi-final in store

Cracking Minor semi-Final in store

 

ALL IRELAND MINOR SEMI-FINAL BY PADDY HUNTER

The influence of several senior footballers could prove decisive
this Sunday as Tyrone and Dublin lock horns in the all Ireland
minor final. No wide open spaces of Croke park, Clones or Breffni
Park though for these fine under 18 footballers, it appears integration
is as far away as ever as these two fine county sides travel to
Mullaghhoran in Cavan. The surroundings will have little bearing
though on what many expect will be a real war of attrition between
two sides that progressed through their provincial competitions
with some ease.

Tyrone lead by the impressive captain Neamh Woods at centre back
accounted for Antrim, Monaghan, Donegal then Down in the final.
Dublin brushed aside the challenge of Wicklow, Meath and Westmeath
on route to Sundays last four encounter. While talking of Woods
its hard to imagine that the Drumragh player is still only 18,
she played senior football with Tyrone last year and was the pick
of the side that lost to Armagh in last Sundays Ulster final.
The workhorse ethic could have been written about the Tyrone minor
captain who says that this Tyrone team have a special bond “ We
went away a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed the time together,
we have built up a great relationship, it’s a very special bond
and we know we don’t want the journey to end this early” Woods
is one of four minors who have made the breakthrough to the senior
ranks, fellow defender Christiane Hunter from St Endas is a college
colleague of the captain at Sacred Heart in Omagh, Sarah Connolly
is the talisman full forward while Clodagh Poyntz was a natural
to join the senior squad after her amazing run with the minors
and underage squads over the years. Tyrone may build on the foundations
laid by the likes of these players but all over the park this
Tyrone squad have exceptional talent. Goalkeeper Sinead McVeigh
has conceded just three goals in the Ulster series.

Midfielders Shannon Quinn and Emma Conlon have had a stunning
year, in defence the full back Laura McGillion has been outstanding
while up front the talented Sarah Louise McLaughlin and Ashling
O’Kane have tied defenders up in knots. While they may have dominated
Ulster though Sundays meeting with the Leinster champions will
be the biggest test to date, Dublin boast talent and ability,
in the three provincial games they notched up an impressive 11-37
albeit against Wicklow, Meath and Westmeath. Players with senior
experience are also to the fore especially captain and full forward
Lyndsey Davey. In the Leinster final the skipper produced a superb
goal while Debrorah Gerity is a player that will take some watching
after she rattled in a goal and six points . They are vulnerable
in defence though, Westmeath caught them napping with a good first
half goal and with the firepower on show that Tyrone have it could
be a case of who wants a place in the final more. Connolly, Poyntz,
McLaughlin and co have turned defenders inside out this season
as they have amassed some 20-93 in the four games in Ulster, a
mean fisted defence have only conceded 3-27 so Tyrone will be
confident of progression.

There’s no air of over confidence in the Tyrone squad, Martina
Dillon and Rory McCann have that well drilled out of them but
as Dillon pointed out they are certainly confident of their own
ability, “ We go into the game knowing what to expect, Dublin
are a quality side, they claimed their second Leinster title on
the trot this May and have an abundance of talent, Our girls have
a steely determination though and I know everyone of those girls
will give each other 120% on Sunday, They all want to win this
game so much” The Tyrone captain expects Dublin to be difficult
too. “ We all know that Dublin will be hard, all Dublin teams
are difficult to beat but I know we are all up for this one on
Sunday and we are well capable of winning” Tyrone’s build up has
been good, no injury worries and everyone buzzing ahead of one
of the biggest games in the players careers. Dublin’s have suffered
a couple of knocks in recent club outings but you can be assured
that come Sunday afternoon in Cavan the big guns will be there.
Its set to be a cracking all Ireland semi-final the winners will
face Cork or Galway but first of all its one game at a time and
for Tyrone that is the challenge of the Dubs.

 

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