A contribution of 1-7 from full forward Laura McSorley helped Tyrone minors reach next month’s All-Ireland final with a two point extra time semi-final win over Mayo at Ballinamore.
Calling on all their resolve and with the pain of losing heavily in last year’s semi still raw Tyrone turned in a superb performance. They rode their luck on occasions and had to withstand a Mayo barrage early in the second half, yet in the end their win was richly deserved.
The nature of the victory was pleasing for the large number of supporters who made the trip to Leitrim, and for manager Pius Fox who will now set his sights on that final appearance on Monday August 6th against Dublin who brushed aside Cork last weekend.
Dublin of course have been a constant thorn in the side of Tyrone minor teams in the recent past so revenge will be in the air in next month’s decider.
That was far from the minds of Tyrone on Saturday last as they eventually got over the line in a tense and hugely entertaining match played in good conditions. Tyrone opened the scoring through the talented Terri McCusker after Mayo had squandered two early frees.
Niamh Kelly quickly got on the mark and hit two close range frees to offer the Connacht champions an early lead. McCusker and impressive captain Louise Kelly went close as both sides traded points before the end of the first quarter.
Faoiltiarna Keenan and Laura McSorley raised white flags for Tyrone while Sara Rowe latched on scores for a bustling and strong Mayo to give them a 0-4 to 0-3 lead.
The midfield battle was keenly contested, however Orla Mallon amd Emma Collins tightened their grip and that led to a decisive moment in the tie. A long ball found Laura McSorley, the Caslederg lady got her first sight of goal and flashed the ball to the Mayo net.
Further points from Kelly and McSorley separated by Aine O’Rielly and Carrie O’Mally points left Tyrone with a two point lead at the break.