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Tyrone Minor Ladies Lift Ulster Minor Title
Tyrone minor ladies claimed the Ulster minor title this afternoon with a tremendous 3-5 to 2-6 win over Donegal at rain lashed Irvinestown. Tyrone were trailing by three points when a goal from Cara McCrossan levelled things up with six minutes to go. Then substitute McCrossan’s delivery set Teri McCusker up for a stunning match winning strike when the young Cappagh forward turned and fired to the net with minutes to go. Nicola Donnelly’s free at the death left two points between the sides when the final whistle sounded.
Donegal had opened the scoring with a Grant goal minutes in but Tyrone dug deep and hit 1-3 without reply. Tyrone’s scorers were Nicola Donnelly 1-2 free and Terri McCusker 0-1.
Donegal lined out minus ace forward Gearldine McLaughlin but they rallied again and a second Grant goal levelled the game and the sides ended the half on level terms after further points from McMahon and Mc Grory.
Both sides had early second half chances but no scores to show for their efforts until McLaughlin came off the bench ten minutes in. Grant and McLaughlin both pointed to open a gap and after Barrett came off the bench to score Donegal’s fourth point they had a three point advantage with six minutes to go. Tyrone sprang Mc Crossan from the bench and after superb work from Donnelly she finished to the net from a tricky angle throwing herself across the goals to touch home.
Barrett replied immediately at the other end to leave things tense going into injury time. McLauglin knocked a free over the bar for Donegal and the young Tyrone side looked destined for heartbreak. Mc Crossan and McCusker had other ideas though and the Omagh/Cappagh combination produced the crucial goal that claimed the crown. McCrossan collected and drove the ball into the penalty area where McCusker was quickest to react. She collected and somehow from an impossible angle netted to put her team in front.
Donegal threw everything at Tyrone as the game entered injury time but the holders failed to breach the teak tough Tyrone defence and a late free from Donnelly was the icing on the cake.
This win was a brilliant but fully deserved result for Tyrone. They had dominated for long periods against an experienced Donegal side going in search of three in a row.
All over the park Tyrone were impressive on what was a historic day for Pius Fox, his management team and his players. From the throw in Tyrone were dogged, determined and focused, first to the ball every time they were certainly not overawed by the occasion.