TYRONE 0-18 MAYO 2-9
TYRONE camogs mixed silky skills together with real team resolve to hold off a strong Mayo challenge in this Division Four trophy decider at Tang GAA in Westmeath on Easter Saturday.
The Ulster team had defeated Mayo in the earlier stages of the league programme but here at Joe Fox Memorial Park the match turned out to be a very close affair indeed. It was all-square over half-time on 0-12 for Tyrone to Mayo’s 2-6.
Scoring exchanges stalled a bit during a stamina sapping second 30 minutes as both teams gave full effort and commitment to the cause. Tyrone managed to edge ahead and the Red Hand defence stood tall amid some sustained Mayo pressure, with keeper Una McCann producing several notable saves.
Lara Devlin led the attacking line very well for Tyrone, scoring several fine points in open play and deservedly picking up the Player-of-the-Match accolade. Devlin got good assistance from Casey Gallagher and also second half sub Roisin McElrean among others. Aoibheann Daly and captain Siobhan Donnelly worked hard in midfield and Grainne McDonald fronted up a solid defensive display overall on behalf of the Ulster representatives.
Mayo were keen to learn from that earlier group stage reversal at the hands of Tyrone and the Connacht side certainly pushed this game right down to the wire. Ava Lambert, Hannah Tener, Amy Mulkeen, Lisa Scahill and company ensured that Mayo stayed right in the mix. Tyrone, though, emerged heroic winners to clinch divisional honours.
It was Mayo who started proceedings the sharpest as Lisa Scahill and Ciara Delaney fired over opening points. Tyrone found their feet with Casey Gallagher levelling up the contest by landing two tidy points on the trot.
Lara Devlin notched her opening point on nine minutes but Mayo then struck for their first goal finished home by Ava Lambert. Tyrone were not fazed, however, responding effectively to that goal as Lara Devlin, Kaitlin Gallagher and Aoibhinn Daly all sent over scores.
Amy Mulkeen replied from a Mayo free before a probing run by Lara Devlin yielded a well-taken Devlin point. There was a delay at this mid-half juncture due to an injury to one of the umpires who subsequently recovered. Reagan Fay added a Red Hand free and Devlin guided over a further score. Lisa Scahill and Lara Devlin traded efforts too.
A free in was flicked home by Hannah Tener for Mayo’s second goal after 23 minutes but again Tyrone responded as Lara Devlin drove over points at the double. The teams headed for half-time on level scores(0-12 to 2-6).
Tyrone started the second half with subs Roisin McErlean and Bronagh Moohan both making impacts and McErlean contributed a few telling scores as well. Roisin McKee also joined the fray during the second half.
Reagan Fay(free) and Lara Devlin gave Tyrone a two-point advantage shortly after the restart; Roisin McErlean drilling over points in timely succession to double the lead as the Ulster girls established some daylight.
Mayo had a free brace from Lisa Scahill but Roisin McErlean and then Kaitlin Gallagher pointed following an effort thwarted by the woodwork. Scahill converted a free as time ticked away.
There was no hiding place as the two teams exerted plenty of energy in a good physical encounter but Tyrone held firm to claim league honours at the finish of this compelling tussle.
Tyrone: Lara Devlin 0-7, Roisin McErlean 0-3(1f), Casey Gallagher 0-3, Kaitlin Gallagher 0-2, Reagan Fay 0-2(2f), Aoibhinn Daly 0-1
Mayo: Lisa Scahill 0-7(4f), Hannah Tener 1-0, Ava Lambert 1-0, Amy Mulkeen 0-1(f), Ciara Delaney 0-1
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