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Tyrone Ladies Face Down In Ulster Final

Friday 15.06.2018
Team Talk Mag


Such are the complexities of the Ulster ladies intermediate championship in 2018 that Down will face a Tyrone team that has already beaten them in the semi final by 38 points.

Such was Tyrone’s dominance last time out the Red Hands will start as hot favourites to secure a third successive intermediate title.

”Yes we will be favourites but we will not be taking things for granted, that would be plain silly” admitted Tyrone boss Gerry Moane this week.

The Fermanagh native’s side will face the Mourne girls at Brewster Park after Down eased to a twelve point win over Fermanagh and that result he says, will have boosted morale in the Mourne squad.

“For sure it will have. They had a point to prove to themselves more than anyone else and they will have learnt from those two games. They are not a bad team” explained Moane whose side travel to Brewster Park expected to have some alterations due to injury.

It emerged this week that four players who started against Down at Emyvale and another who made an appearance from the bench are carrying knocks after recent club games and Moane’s hand may be forced. Lucky then that he has such an experienced bench to look to ahead of a third final meeting with Down.

In the 2016 final at Clones Down pressed Tyrone to the bitter end. At Clonmore last year it was a lot more clear cut with fourtneen points between them at the end and of course the game just over a fortnight ago was over after the first quarter. That said Down boss Ryan Mc Shane remains positive.

“It’s a final and that’s always a big occasion. We lost heavily to Tyrone the last day but we will take what we learnt from that game and what we did against Fermanagh into the final. That’s all you can do. We talked about the Tyrone game and the girls responded so well. They performed well. They had a point to prove to themselves and that was a good thing. We will take a couple of days now to take stock and build up for the final, but we are confident it will be closer.”

Kate Mc Kay and Jess Foy were once again impressive in attack while captain Orla Boyle had another good outing in the red and black, although she’s well aware of what lies ahead again.

“Aw I know it’s Tyrone again and there is no doubting the quality team they have but we will have a go. That’s what finals are for. Our girls will be ready. We know we can play a bit ourselves and we will be looking forward to Sunday.”  For Mc Shane Tyrone may have held the Indian sign over his developing squad but he remains a realist.

“Look in reality we are big underdogs against Tyrone. We can’t be anything else. It will be a case of closing the gap. If we can do that and bring some of the football we played here today well you never know, closing the gap and maybe getting the win, that has to be the target for us.”

There’s an experienced look about Tyrone as they head into another final. Some of Moane’s trusted warriors are back and flying and in some quarters the Red Hands are very much the favourites for the all Ireland series. Their loss to Tipperary still stings. The players, says talisman  skipper Neamh Woods , are looking no further though than Sunday.

“Tyrone are not in a position to take any opposition lightly, and we respect all opponents including Down. Complacency is a recipe for underperformance, and we don’t intend to make that mistake.”

Throw in time on Sunday is  1.45pm




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