Tyrone produced a fine display on their way to defeating Westmeath at Cusack Park on Sunday. The only downside of the day was an injury to Aoife Horisk in the second half. That stoppage caused a fifteen minute delay to the game as the injured player was treated on the pitch.
The home side began well but Tyrone produced an excellent closing ten minutes of the first half as the Red Hands wiped out a four point deficit to go in at the break leading by one.
Led brilliantly by Chloe Mc Caffrey, Sean O’Kane’s side recovered from being four behind with Mc Caffrey’s goal putting them in pole position.
The returning Niamh Hughes opened the scoring before Ciara Blundell levelled things. early in the game Westmeath carried the fight to Tyrone with Vicky Carr and Sarah Dillon firing over points. They came close to hitting the net from a Dillon strike only to be denied by Tyrone keeper Sinead Mc Vey.
Tyrone’s Mc Caffrey missed a goal chance before scores from Dillon and Connolly put their side in control. Aoife Mc Gahan tagged on a point for the visitors but the home side pointed through Dillon only for the impressive Mc Gahan to add a third Tyrone point.
It was then that the Tyrone comeback began. The hard, direct style of running from Hughes caused problems for the Westmeath defence. Mc Caffrey was getting on the ball more and she punished Westmeath after a strong run and fine finish resulted in a goal for Tyrone. The talented Mc Caffrey tagged on a point before scores from Slaine Mc Carroll and Aoife Horisk nudged Tyrone ahead.
After a mistake in the Tyrone defence Westmeath plundered a goal but Mc Gahan and Emma Hegarty scores put Tyrone a point ahead by the short whistle.
After the break Hughes and Mc Gahan pointed to stretch the Tyrone lead before Dillon clipped over another Westmeath free. Horisk had an effort cleared off the line but she reacted quickest when Mc Cormack dropped Emma Jane Gervin’s shot and the Errigal forward fired the loose ball to the net and put Tyrone five clear.
Connolly did close the gap with a point before Mc Gahan pointed again for Tyrone as Orla Mulgrew replaced the injured Aoife Horisk.
Connolly and Rafferty exchanged points with Connolly closing the gap to three with five minutes left. Mc Vey made a great save in the closing stages. Mc Gahan converted an excellent point after outstanding work from Mc Hugh and Tyrone ran down the clock to take the points,
Tyrone Scorers: Aoife Mc Gahan 0-6 Chloe Mc Caffrey 1-1 Aoife Horisk 1-1, Niamh Hughes 0-2, Slaine Mc Carroll 0-1 Emma Hegarty 0-1, Grainne Rafferty 0-1
Westmeath: Lauren Mc Cormack, Mary Dunne, Lucy Power, Ayesha Roche, Kelly Boyce Jordan, Tracey Dillon, Laura Kiernan, Vicky Carr, Ashley Ruane, Anna Jones, Karen Hegarty, Rachel Dillon, Sarah Dillon, Aoife Connolly, Ciara Blundell. Subs
Tyrone: Sinead Mc Vey, Emma Hegarty, Caoimhe Magee, Aoife Mc Gahan, Jayne Lyons, Gahan, Slaine Mc Carroll, Emma Jane Gervin, Aoibhinn Mc Hugh, Niamh Hughes, Emma Loane, Meabh Corrigan, Chloe Mc Caffrey, Meabh Mallon, Aoife Horisk, Subs: Grainne Rafferty For Hughes, Meave Mc Gleenan For Mc Caffrey, Nicole Murphy For Loane, Orla Mulgrew For Horisk, Caitlin Campbell For Lyons