An excellent defensive display from a depleted Red Hand side was the platform for a hard fought but well deserved victory over Monaghan in the first fixture of the round robin series. The unavailability of key players Emma Jane Gervin, Rebecca Barker and Chloe Mc Caffrey rattled the side but Tyrone dug deep and deserved the hard fought win.
This was a real team effort with every player, subs and all, producing the sort of display Tyrone have failed to produce on a consistent basis this year. Caoimhe Magee was outstanding at full back, Sinead Mc Vey comfortable under the high ball while Grainne Rafferty, Emma Hegarty, Jayne Lyons and Aoife Horisk were central to the win.
Monaghan played wind assisted in the first half and reached the break ahead by one as both sides played it hard and fair. The Farney girls hit 0-2 in the opening eight minutes with Leanne Maguire on target both from play. Tyrone got off the mark after eight minutes when Niamh Hughes put Aoife Mc Gahan through and she curled over the first of the day, Shauna Coyle edged Monaghan ahead a minute later but that was quickly cancelled out when Mc Gahan fired in an excellent goal for Tyrone after good work by Grainne Rafferty. A brace of points had Monaghan ahead at the end of the first quarter.
Shauna Coyle pointed as both teams missed chances and the exchanges became more intense. Emma Maria Canavan found her range on the stroke of half time to leave it a one point game.
After a number of missed chances Aoife Mc Gahan landed the equaliser and Aoife Horisk scored to put Tyrone ahead. That lead was short lived as Shona Brady set up Maguire who slotted the ball off the post to Sinead Mc Vey’s net and put Monaghan ahead again.
The hosts were forced to dig deep and defend well as Canavan landed a brace of points to level matters on forty eight minutes. With time running out the closing minutes were sure to be intense.
Tyrone showed huge heart and forged ahead as Horisk cut inside from the left and pointed with Canavan adding a fourth for herself from an acute angle. Monaghan sub Jodie Mc Quillan reduced the gap to one and Mc Gahan sealed the win with a late free. Monaghan did push forward in the closing minutes but a combination of Mc Hugh and Magee stood tall as Tyrone collected a massive win to get the championship off the mark in style.
Tyrone Scorers: Aoife Mc Gahan 1-3, Maria Canavan 0-4, Aoife Horisk 0-2