GAA Football

Composed Tyrone upset ladies football champions Donegal

Tyrone players Joannne Barrett (left) and Emma Jane Gervin celebrate after the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Group 4 Round 2 match against Donegal
Louise Gunn

TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship Group 4: Tyrone 3-12 Donegal 3-9

TYRONE manager Gerry Moane knew his side’s first Championship win since their return to senior football was coming after they upset Ulster champions Donegal in Saturday’s TG4 All-Ireland group four qualifying game at TEG Cusack Park, Mullingar.

The Red Hands were fully deserved of their three-point victory as they avenged their provincial preliminary round defeat and more importantly put themselves in the running for an All-Ireland quarter-final berth.

The only way Moane’s side might miss out on the knockout stages is if Donegal beat Mayo in the final group by three points, forcing a play-off situation between the trio and Tyrone subsequently losing.

“It was coming. We just had to get across the line and I thought the composure we showed in the last 10 minutes to see the game out when Donegal were throwing everything at us was outstanding,” said Moane.

“This team is learning all the time and we have to if we want to progress. The players showed a lot of maturity on Saturday, they took so much from the previous two games.

“We went at them from the start. Not a lot of people outside ourselves gave us much of a chance, however, we felt and knew different. We had no fear of Donegal. We knew if we could take what we learned from before, found the performance and took our opportunities we could do it.”

Tyrone led 1-3 to no score after the first quarter, Chloe McCaffrey flicking the ball over the head of goalkeeper Aoife McColgan to the net in the 13th minute.

It took Donegal to the second quarter to get on the scoreboard but they were right back in it when some quickly thinking from Geraldine McLaughlin saw her pivot on the ground and scramble the ball to the back of the net after 25 minutes as Tyrone took in a two point cushion at the break 1-6 to 1-4.

Within minutes of the restart, Tyrone found themselves eight points up. Half-time substitute Meabh Mallon reacted quickest to a Maira Canavan free that had come back off the crossbar and she drilled the ball home while in their very next attack, Niamh Hughes’ effort for a point dropped into the top corner and with four minutes of the half gone it was 3-7 to 1-5.

Donegal’s expected purple patch came and Geraldine McLaughlin’s partially blocked shot found its way to the back of net as Donegal replied with 1-2 just four minutes later. Tyrone moved six clear again but in a pulsating final 10 minutes, Donegal threw everything at their opponents and two minutes from time, Niamh McLaughlin’s expertly dispatched penalty made it a two point game, 3-11 to 3-9, but it was to be Tyrone’s day and McCaffrey last minute free sealed the victory.

Donegal manager Maxi Curran had no complaints about the result.

“We knew from playing them previously and seeing them against Mayo they are serious outfit and well capable of playing at senior level,” he said.

“We had ample scoring opportunities ourselves that we didn’t take. We just weren’t as clinical and it is a fall from grace by a fair degree from the Ulster final when you are scaling the heights and kicking the points for fun. “Fair play to Tyrone they were full credit for it and we can have no complaints.”

TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship Group 2: Monaghan 1-10 Waterford 7-19

MONAGHAN’S troubled season continued with a heavy 27 points defeat, 7-19 to 1-10 to Waterford in their group qualifier game at Shamrock Park, Cremartin on Saturday.

This game was crucial for both sides with the winner most likely to qualify for the All-Ireland senior quarter-finals in second place in the table behind champions Dublin.

They still have to play Dublin this weekend but realistically it is unlikely they will take anything away from it and they will be looking at trying to save their senior status in the relegation battle.

The Ulster side had to play without their experienced captain Cora Courtney who was injured while Niall Treanor was also not able to call upon any of the county’s minor players due to their involvement in the All-Ireland minor semi-final against Meath on Sunday.

Waterford were impressive, their full-forward line of Eimear Fennell, Michelle Ryan and Maria Delahunty combining for 4-13 of their side’s total.

Still searching their first win of the year, it was the home side who started brighter, Louise Kerley, Ciara McAnespie and Abbie McCarey giving them a 0-3 to 0-1 advantage after nine minutes.

However, three goals in five minutes before the end of the first quarter did the damage, Eimear Fennell completing her hat-trick to put Waterford 3-1 to 0-3 ahead. Monaghan susbsitute Casey Treanor rattled the net to reduce the Waterford lead back to five points at half-time, 3-5 to 1-6.

Hopes of a Monaghan comeback were emphatically ended in the third quarter as Waterford hit them for an unanswered 2-9. Within 30 seconds of the resumption, Delahunty had the ball in the back of the net while Aileen Wall hit her side’s fifth goal on 38 minutes and they did not let up as Kellyann Hogan and Delahunty added further goals to wrap up a significant win for The Deise.

TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship Group 1: Cavan 3-8 Cork 6-19

CAVAN were on the receiving end of a harsh lesson as former All-Ireland champions Cork laid out their title intentions with a 20 points victory at TEG Cusack Park, Mullingar on Saturday.

Last week’s victory over the Orchard County had given James Daly’s side a boost coming into this game knowing they had put themselves into a good position to make the knockout stages. They were always going to be up against it, but for parts of the first half they showed positive glimpses and had Cork pegged back to two points before Ephie Fitzgerald’s side upped the ante again.

The sides were level at 0-2 apiece after five minutes, Cavan levelling the game twice. However, Cork’s forwards hit 1-4 without reply, Aine O’Sullivan ripping straight through the Cavan defence to finish low to the net on 13 minutes as they built up a 1-8 to 0-3 lead after 17 minutes.

Cavan found themselves right back in it with two goals in the space of as many minutes. A sublime pass from Maguire found Aishling Sheridan and she squeezed her shot around Martina O’Brien in the 19th minute. Three minutes later, O’Brien was beaten for the second time when Maguire blazed the ball into the top corner from the penalty spot to reduceCork’s lead to two, 1-8 to 2-3.

Any thoughts Cavan had of getting closer ended there and Libby Coppinger goal five minutes from the break helped Cork to a 2-13 to 2-4 half-time lead.

A strong third quarter put the result beyond doubt as Cork pushed on. They hit 3-3 without reply to lead 5-17 to 2-5, Saoirse Noonan, Coppinger and a Scally penalty all raising green flags for Cork. Geraldine Sheridan did score a third Cavan goal three minutes from time but Cork had time for one more from Orlagh Farmer.

TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship

CONNACHT champions Galway booked their place in the TG4 All-Ireland Senior quarter-finals with a 2-13 to 1-3 victory over Westmeath in Mullingar.

They led 1-6 to 0-2 at half-time after what had been a tight first quarter but from there on, Galway dominated with Roisin Leonard’s goal four minutes from the break gave them that seven points cushion.

Westmeath were 11 adrift when Ncile Feery’s speculative effort in the 43rd minute ended up in the back of the net to reduce it back to eight, but Galway raised their game with a couple of points and substitute Leanne Coen’s late goal sealed their knockout place.

TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate Championship Group 1: Down 2-9 Limerick 0-8

DOWN took a massive step to securing their intermediate championship status for next season with a seven points win over Limerick in Burren on Sunday.

With Kildare and Sligo favourites to qualify for the All-Ireland quarter-finals from this group, there is a battle ongoing between Down and Limerick, who won last year’s All-Ireland junior title, to grab that third place in the table and stay clear of bottom spot and the relegation qualifiers.

After Sunday’s win, Peter Lynch and Caoibhe Sloan’s side are in pole position ahead of the final round of games this weekend with Down away to undefeated Kildare and Limerick on their travels to Sligo.

It was the visitors who registered the first score of the game but Down responded with a goal from Natahsa Ferris, who finished with 1-4, and at the break they led 1-4 to 0-5.

Jessica Foy’s second half goal was crucial in a nip and tuck second half and Sloan was delighted with Down’s response following their defeat to Sligo in the first group game.

“It was a very tight game. Limerick are a good side and they were dominant in patches but we got the goals and the rub of the green at times,” she said.

“The girls responded really well from the Sligo game and they really went at it. They were disappointed with conceding so much the last day so to not concede a goal and keep Limerick to eight points, after they scored 3-5 the week before, was a big improvement.

“We got the perfect response and we will use it as springboard as we continue our development. We have Kildare next and we will go at it again.”



All-Ireland Senior Championship

Group 1 round 2: Cavan 3-8 Cork 6-19

Group 2 round 2: Monaghan 1-10 Waterford 7-19

Group 3 round 2: Westmeath 1-3 Galway 2-13

Group 4 round 2: Donegal 3-9 Tyrone 3-12

All-Ireland Intermediate Championship

Group 1 round 2: Down 2-9 Limerick 0-8, Sligo 1-11 Kildare3-9

Group 2 round 2: Tipperary 7-22 Longford 2-4, Meath 4-9 Wicklow 0-10

Group 3 round 2: Laois 1-12 Clare 4-13

Group 4 round 2: Offaly 1-4 Roscommon 2-17

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