Tyrone reach the last 4


Tyrone reach the last four



Gemma Begleys stunning 3-6 was the catalyst that drove the Tyrone
ladies to the last four of the all Ireland senior championship
on Saturday. A memorable victory over the Ulster champions at
rain lashed Mullingar was sweet revenge for that Clones knock-down
but there was more to this 4-7 to 0-10 victory than just the Carrickmore
forwards tally. Tyrone with several injuries already made changes
and were forced into more. They lost Neamh Woods midway through
the first half with a serious collarbone injury and with two minutes
to go until the break, Siobhan McGarvey was sin binned. The set
backs though seemed to galvanise the Tyrone performance and they
drove on to the stage in the competition that manager Jimmy McCloughan
wouldn’t have dared dream about at the start of the year. “ If
you had told me we would have been in the last four, I might have
had a wee laugh, but this bunch of girls have set out their stall,
they have worked hard and they have got their reward, now its
time to take it a bit further, Croke Park beckons” Enthused McCloughan
after he had watched his side brush aside the Armagh challenge.

This was the same Armagh that had claimed the all Ireland junior
title in 2005, the Ulster senior crown in 2006 and 07 and of course
that had run Cork close in last years senior all Ireland decider,
yet on Saturday as the storm clouds dispatched everything but
the proverbial cats and dogs they came up against a tidal wave
of white and red. Tyrone and Begley unstoppable at times. Evenly
matched in the opening quarter with two points a piece on the
scoreboard, through Begley 0-2 and frees from Matthews and O Hanlon
Tyrone created the chances and quick thinking by Gormley and Joline
Donnelly set Gemma Begley up for goal number one. Two Mathhews
points reeled Tyrone in again and just a point separated the sides
as Woods was injured. A innocuous challenge saw the talented wing
half taken to hospital with a suspected broken collar bone , but
Tyrone far from rattled set about the task again admirably and
when Siobhan McGarvey was sinbinned with just under three minutes
to go it was Tyrone who upped the tempo and left Armagh on the
edge. First a bad kick out by Finnoula McAtamney after she made
a save from Cathy Donnelly was snapped up by the “Macartans” ace
and she drove the ball home, seconds later it was 3-2 to 0-4 when
Begley collected from the right, turned back across the goal and
again the Armagh keeper was beaten.

So at the break Tyrone went in leading 3-2 to 0-4, the backlash
was expected on the restart but never came, Begley latched on
a free and despite two Matthews points also from the dead ball
it was Tyrone who turned the screw, Begley and Gormley hit points
and it was an eleven point game when Begley scored her hat-trick..
The talented full forward, on course for an all star, took a return
pass from Cathy Donnelly and she was never going to miss. Armagh
did try and revive the cause, but it was a Lynda Donnelly inspired
defence who made their mark in the closing eight minutes. Donnelly,
Kelly Meehan and Carol McClinchey steady as a rock as Armagh went
for it throwing everyone into attack in a frantic closing spell.
For them it was three frees converted with Begley securing her
fifth and sixth points.

In the end then nine points between the Ulster rivals with a delighted
Begley picking up a second consecutive player of the match award
but still not completely over the moon with her showing! “ I got
the scores alright but I still missed too many, but we got the
win, it was horses for courses out there and we are happy to be
through” Tyrone fans will be far from unhappy though with Begley
or Tyrone, with the focus now on a semi-final meeting on the way
at the end of August or at the start of September, the Tyrone
season is far from over.

TYRONE : Elaine Mallaghan, Sinead McLaughlin, Maura Kelly, Carol
McClinchey, Siobhan McGarvey, Lynda Donnelly, Neamh Woods, Lucy
Meehan, Sarah Donnelly, Ann Dooher, Eilish Gormley 0-1, Katriona
Murphy, Joline Donnelly, Gemma Begley 3-6, Cathy Donnelly 1-0
Subs Kellie Meehan FOR Woods, Katriona Daly FOR Murphy, Claire
McAliskey FOR J Donnelly.


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