Tyrone 1-10 Tipperary 1-13
LIKE their male counterparts the previous month, the Tyrone Ladies suffered a bout of the ‘Blues’ at Croke Park yesterday afternoon as Tipperary laid claim to the All-Ireland Intermediate Championship title with a gritty three point triumph.
Despite their shortcomings on the afternoon, and failing to recapture the sparkling form demonstrated earlier in the campaign, the Red Hands were right in contention up till the final whistle.
Indeed just before the final hooter, the impressive Emma-Jane Gervin saw an angled drive cannon back dangerously off the upright into the Tipperary square, however the relieved Munster side were able to avert the danger and run out the clock.
It was a demoralising end to an encouraging summer for Tyrone but with their front line stymied for much of the game, and Tipp able to weave the more polished and purposeful attacking patterns, there was no doubting that the result was the correct one.
In front of a healthy contingent of Tyrone support, the Red Hand girls almost enjoyed a dream start as Lycrecia Quinn was set through on goal on just twenty seconds, but the Tipp keeper Lauren Fitzpatrick was quickly off her line with a smothering block.
And the Ulster side thought they had opened the scoring with a fine Quinn strike in the fourth minute, but a Hawkeye judgement ruled the score out and instead it was Tipp who began to establish supremacy in the match.
“In the first half we just didn’t get out of the blocks. We had a good goal opportunity with the first attack and then we had a shot disallowed that went over the bar,” observed Tyrone boss, Gerry Moane.
“If we had converted those chances early on it gets players settled down and that’s especially important on a big day on a big stage like Croke Park. Those early scores would have helped to settle us down.”
The pace and penetration of the likes of Mairead Morrissey and Aishling Moloney proved a real handful for the Tyrone defence, though the sterling efforts of Shannon Cuningham and skipper Neamh Woods ensured that the Red Hands stayed well within touch.
Gemma Begley slipped over two frees just before the break as Tyrone trailed 1-7 to 1-3.
And while Tyrone displayed commendable courage and commitment in the second half they just couldn’t apply consistent pressure on Tipp, who ensured the Red Hand girls’ bid for silverware had come up short.
“They put in a massive effort all year but on the biggest day of all it didn’t happen for them and that is disappointing,” Moane concluded.
FULL MATCH REPORT AND REACTION IN TODAY’S TYRONE HERALD