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Tyrone Minors Face Cork In All Ireland Semi

Friday 14.07.2017
Team Talk Mag


Cork come into Saturday’s all Ireland minor semi-final clash with Tyrone intent on making it back to the decider for a crack at a hat trick of all Ireland titles. However they know they face a tough challenge from the young Red Hands.

The Rebellettes carry the bulk of last season’s squad into this semi-final. They are physically strong and vastly experienced and start as clear favourites for this game. Despite being underdogs this current crop of Tyrone players is not just turning up to make up the numbers and bring to the table perhaps the best Ulster challenge for several seasons.

In their Ulster final victory over Armagh Clodagh Donaghy, Aimee Daly and Meabh Corrigan were exceptional at the back while the talented attack of Meave Maxwell, Dearbháile Gallagher, Maria Canavan and Chloe McCaffrey led the scoring at Lisnaskea. Manager Hugh Donnelly was delighted that Tyrone advanced through Ulster.

“This side have defined themselves as a contentious force within the realms of Ladies minor football after some very convincing wins during their quest for well-deserved Ulster glory. We shook off stern challenges from Cavan and Down to earn an Ulster final showdown with Armagh. We then showcased some of their superb talent with a game plan that was methodical, well delivered and ultimately proved too much for their Orchard County rivals.”

Tyrone teams though have not had things easy in the minor series in the recent past when 2000 was their one and only title with just one further final date in 2012. Back then a very talented side eventually lost to Dublin. On the other hand the Cork reputation is cast in stone and the Rebels are determined to make it through to a 14th final appearance and perhaps a tenth title. they certainly feel that they have the players capable of progressing.

Ciara Ryan, Ciara McCarthy and Emma Spillane need no introduction. They have been key members of the Rebel County’s set up and are very much players for the future as Cork’s senior football squad rebuild. There are similarities between the teams with young players part of or on the cusp of senior teams. Tyrone have plenty of quality too and several of this minor squad have featured in the senior set up already. It will be a tough outing for Tyrone but Donnelly who took the reins at the start of this year knows his players,

“Tyrone have not reached the all Ireland stage for a few years. However  I believe that with the strength, talent, ability and drive prevalent among this squad we realise this as a very achievable goal albeit one that will require absolutely every player to dig deeper than they have to date this year and put in their finest 60 minutes.”

Donnelly and his players have had a protracted build up to this game which has been difficult confirmed the manager.

“The extensive break between the Ulster Final and All-Ireland semi-final has at times created difficulties in maintaining momentum and this coupled with girls involvement in club fixtures and academic pressures has caused us problems. However by maintaining a common sense approach and working with the girls we feel we have optimised all opportunities to develop and move forward as a team.”

The game is part of a double bill with the Galway Dublin clash throwing in at 1-30pm and the Tyrone Cork game at 3-15pm as long as there is no extra time in the first game. Donnelly reports no major injury issues ahead of the tie



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