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Tyrone Ladies Prepare To Face Down

Thursday 31.05.2018
Team Talk Mag


Tyrone will begin the defence of their Ulster intermediate crown at Emyvale on Sunday. The Red Hands are aiming to secure the three in a row. They would of course have preferred not to be in this position. Tyrone by now should have been preparing for a return to the senior grade, a gut wrenching three point all Ireland final loss to Tipperary ended that plan, so it’s another run in the intermediate for Gerry Moane’s outfit.

Facing them this Saturday evening will be the team Tyrone have beaten in the past two finals, Down. There’s a changed look about the Division 3 side but an experienced warrior could be about to make a shock return.

She may have patrolled the sidelines alongside manager Ryan Mc Shane through the national league campaign as part of the management team but veteran forward Kyla Trainor could be about to make a sensational return to action this Saturday.

Trainor confirmed that she hung up her inter county boots after Down exited the all Ireland intermediate championship last summer. The  Mourne girls suffered a heavy Ulster final loss at the hands of Tyrone at Clonmore before going out in the qualifiers. She was quickly added to the management team and admitted she has enjoyed the role,

“I have. It has been great but to be honest sometimes you just wish you could be out there, you still kick every ball , but no that’s it for me,”  she confirmed at the Ulster championship launch in Strabane. Four weeks on from then something has changed and the talismanic Down ace will join a mixture of experienced returning players from the 2014 all Ireland success and  the current crop of quality that makes up this Down squad. Trainor has been named on the bench and could well be utilised as an impact sub.

Down captain Orla Boyle admitted it will be a difficult outing but they have some unfinished business.

“We have learnt from those past games. You have to learn from such experiences in finals and games like that. We worked hard through the league and have come into the championship after a good league campaign. We played well although we missed out in the league semifinal.”

Boyle is another of a dozen experienced players Ryan Mc Shane can still call on after a big exodus at the end of last season.

“We have girls from sixteen to thirty odd. They have all settled in well. We all went back to club football there after the league loss but have been back a couple of weeks ago, back to full tilt” admitted Boyle.

While Down’s build up has been low key, Tyrone have not let up since Easter. “You have to put the work in if you really are going to be contenders” affirmed Moane, who has also drafted in a handful of new faces although he is boosted by the return of some experienced players in all sectors of the park.

” Aye to be honest while we missed out on our target of promotion we have learnt a lot from our league season. I know we will know more about our players. We have key players back for the championship and there is no getting away from the fact that you need those experienced players in the championship. The likes of Woods, Hunter and O’Neill for example. We gave players a chance to express themselves in the league and while we were disappointed to miss out on promotion we have made no secret that we want to get back to Croke Park.”

Moane is expected to reshuffle his pack for this semi final opener. The losers will have a second bite of the cherry against Fermanagh but the Fermanagh man is determined that their place in the Enniskillen final will be secured on Saturday. There are a couple of key injury concerns, Emma Mulgrew has been struggling with a hamstring strain, while St Macartans Slaine Mc Carroll has an ongoing knee issue.




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