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Not Getting Any Easier For Tyrone Ladies

Thursday 05.02.2015
Team Talk Mag


Tyrone ladies face their shortest trip of this year’s National League campaign on Friday when they face fierce Ulster rivals Monaghan at Emyvale. In the recent past the Farney side have held the Indian sign over Tyrone but in their last meeting in the all Ireland qualifiers last summer just three points separated the sides. It may have been a defeat but Tyrone will take heart from the fact that the margin of defeat was the equivalent of only one score. The O’Neill County side has suffered massive hits against Monaghan over the past three years ranging from twelve points to a massive thirty plus loss in the experimental Dowd Cup competition.

A three point loss on a day when they also hit the woodwork twice and missed a penalty gave Tyrone hopes that the green shoots of revival were finally emerging. Fast forward to last Sunday however and the first game of this year’s league against Kerry at Dromore appeared to indicate that progress was scant. In spite of this a couple of positional and personnel switches at the break made a massive difference and the side showed great spirit and heart outscoring the visitors and almost getting something out of the division one opener. Edel Murphy’s saves between the sticks proving crucial for the Kingdom in the end.

Tyrone failed to score in the first half and trailed by nine at the break but turned in a fine second half display. The moving of Niamh Woods and Gemma Begley to midfield, Christiane Hunter from right half back to corner back to end the dominance of Claire O’Sullivan and the quality of Shannon Quinn coupled with the drive of Tori McLaughlin could have, perhaps should have secured something for the home side.

Coach Tony McVeigh was happy with the work-rate shown in the half. “Yes we must be happy with the commitment and the work-rate shown by the girls. They really got back into the game and there were plenty of positives from that with good performances all over the park.”

While Tyrone came back strong with Sigersons pair McLaughlin and Lorraine Conwell on target with goals and boosted by the return of Begley and Joline Donnelly, Monaghan were on the receiving end of a nine point defeat to Dublin. That reversal emphasised further by the fact they only scored three times in sixty plus minutes at DCU.

It was a strong looking Monaghan side too but it was one of those days. They trailed 7-1 at the break, Catriona McConnell on target seven minutes in. They had to wait until the ninth minute of the second half for their second score as the Dublin defence kept Caoimhe Mohan, Ciara  McAnespie and McConnell at bay. McConnell though was on target with that second point. Laura McAnneney was the Farney side’s only other scorer 51 minutes in. The match finished 0-12 to 0-3 with Monaghan finding the going tough all over the park. That said they had come up against a very strong Dublin side and will still fancy their chances against Tyrone who must continue where they left off on Sunday.

Cathy Donnelly is expected to be available for selection after an ankle injury although it’s unlikely that Tiffy Quinn and McVeigh will make much in the way of changes from the side that finished against Kerry.

Tyrone have perhaps not had the best of build ups with difficult conditions preventing decent squad sessions, a fact not lost on Tony McVeigh. “We could have done with some challenge games but it was impossible to get pitches and we have been unable to have the preparation we would have wanted. We lacked a wee bit of sharpness because of that but there’s no getting away from the quality that we have and we will be well prepared and focused on Monaghan.”

Tyrone face a stern examination at Emyvale but after years of hurt this could be the best opportunity to get back on track. Friday’s game throws in at 7-30pm


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