TYRONE 5-6 DOWN 1-13

Five goals in the first half from Tyrone secured their place in yet another Ulster senior final, In the end there was five points between the sides yet Tyrone won’t get carried away with that. Down had rallied in a second half that saw Tyrone only manage four points, a poor return after a whirlwind second quarter.

The game played as a curtain raiser to the mens tie at Newry on Saturday last had everything, four penalties, six goals, some great points, two sin binnings and yet another majestic display from Neamh Woods.

Overall Tyrone had done enough to seal the win but there was plenty of room for improvement. Begley, Gormley, Dooher, McGlinchey and Kelly looked to be up for the challenge though and Sinead McVeigh didn’t put a foot wrong in her championship debut in goals.


.Kyla Trainor opened the scoring for Down, netting a penalty in the seventh minute after Orla Fegan was taken down. A couple of points from frees by Aileen Pyers extended the Mounre lead to five points before Eilish Gormley drove the ball over the bar for Tyrone’s first score.

A twelfth minute Cathy Donnelly goal pulled Tyrone back into the tie after good work on the left by sister Jolene

. Pyers brought her tally to three when she sent over another free., but a four minute spell sealed Downs fate in this tie.. Firstly Gemma Begley netted a penalty after Ann Dooher was fouled. Lynette Hughes pointed and then fired in a wicked shot from an accute tight angle which crept under the crossbar. Begley then scored her second goal sending the ball low and hard past Down keeper Elaine Mc Court who had earlier denied Gormley and fellow Carrickmore ace Begley. Down kept in touch with a couple of points from Pyers and Orla Fegan but a 28th minute Eilish Gormley goal left them a mountain to climb. The veteran pounced on a defensive error to net her side’s fifth goal. A late point from Down’s Grainne Mc Clean left the half time score 5-2 to 1-6 in Tyrones favour.

Cathy Donnelly opened the second half scoring with a third minute point but that was to be her sides last score for twenty seven minutes. It just wasn’t the same Tyrone, Woods had been dominant but picked up a bad dead leg and was eventually withdrawn, the forward potency seemed to evaporate too as Down got their tails up.

Aileen Pyers cancelled Donnelly’s point with her first score from play, but a chance to end the tie came and went on 38 minutes when Tyrone were awarded a second spot kick. On this occassion Down Keeper Mc Court got a hand to Begleys shot and the kick came back of the crossbar and the danger was cleared.. Down then slowly reduced the deficit with points from Lisa Morgan, Pyers (2) and the very impressive Sonya Mc Gaw. Down at times strode around Pairc Esler as Tyrone tried to settle the issue but it could have been so different when Down were awarded a second spot kick Kyla Trainor remarkably though opted for the point . The introduction of the experienced Lynda Donnelly with Woods out of the mix steadied the ship and even when Sarah Donnelly got a yellow card with ten minutes of normal time to go Tyrone still kept the edge although it was nerve jangling.

Aileen Pyers then pointed her eighth score to leave just two between the sides with five minutes remaining. Kyla Trainor was sin binned late on and with the influential midfielder off, Tyrone drove forward and kicked three late points through Cathy Donnelly, Gemma Begley and substitute Clodagh Poytnz to claim a 5-6 to 1-13 semi-final victory

Next up in this very open Ulster championship will be the winners of Donegal and Monaghan that features this Saturday at Omagh. No doubt the Tyrone management will have a close look at that one this weekend and also hope that injuries are not an issue as the WJ Dolan championship semi-finals feature on the clar.


Overall from Saturday Tyrone will have learn’t plenty, at times Arlene McCloskey was left exposed at midfield, defencivley Tyrone worked hard, while up front the distribution to the skilled powerful front six must have left them frustrated at times. Down were a handful, they had prepared well and are ever improving, in the end they almost spoilt Tyrones bid for the Ulster final spot but Tyrone survived and they can now prepare for the decider, knowing they certainly can improve with the quality they have.



Tyrone – Sinead Mc Veigh, Sinead Mc Laughlin, Maura Kelly, Caol Mc Glinchey, Ashling Hagan, Neamh Woods, Connie Fox –Mc Nally, Arlene Mc Closkey, Sarah Donnelly, Joline Donnelly, Anne Dooher, Cathy Donnelly (1-2), Eilish Gormley (1-1), Gemma Begley (2-1), Lynette Hughes (1-1) Subs Used – Lynda Donnelly FOR Woods, Clodagh Poyntz (0-1) FOR Donnelly Shannon Quinn FOR McCloskey


Down – E. Mc Court, N. Mc Gowan, E. Downey, J. Connell, E. Mulhern, A. Downey, S. Fegan, S. Murphy, K. Trainor (1-1), O. Fegan (0-1), L. Morgan (0-1), G. Mc Clean (0-1), K. Gribben, M. Downey, A. Pyers (0-8) Subs Used – S. Mc Gaw (0-1)Referee – G. Mc Mahon (Monaghan)

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