Saturday 17 March 2018

Begley's salvo steers Tyrone into first final

Tyrone 1-9
Kerry 0-11
All-Ireland Ladies SFc s-f replay

Jackie Cahill

A new name will be inscribed on the Brendan Martin Cup after Tyrone beat Kerry in a hard-fought replay in Banagher to set up a September 26 final showdown against Dublin.

It will be Tyrone's first appearance in the final, while Dublin have been defeated three times in the decider -- in 2003, 2004 and 2009.

Tyrone had to do it the hard way as they came from three points down at half-time (1-2 to 0-8) to secure victory.

Gemma Begley, who top-scored for Tyrone, had the ball in the Kerry net after just 55 seconds to give the Red Hands an ideal start, but they were outscored by 0-8 to 0-2 for the remainder of the half as Kerry responded.

Tyrone also suffered an early blow when Neamh Woods received a yellow card for a challenge on Louise Galvin and spent 10 minutes in the sin-bin.

Kerry were level by the 12th minute -- 0-4 to 1-1 -- and moved a point in front with a superb Mags O'Donoghue score two minutes later.

They then had a goal correctly disallowed for a square ball in the 20th minute when Emma Sherwood fisted to the net from top-scorer Louise Ni Mhuircheartaigh's free.

Catriona McGahan's 22nd-minute point for Tyrone levelled proceedings again but three unanswered points before half-time regain the initiative for Kerry.

After the break, Tyrone set about eating into Kerry's interval lead and full-forward Sarah Connolly shot the opening point of the second half.

By the 11th minute, Tyrone were level at 1-6 to 0-9 before Ni Mhuircheartaigh responded with her and Kerry's second point of the half.

With 11 minutes remaining, Tyrone sub Nina Murphy hit a shot off a post with just the goalkeeper to beat but Cathy Donnelly hauled the Red Hands level again with a point from play.

Scores from ace corner-forward Joline Donnelly (free) and Aisling O'Kane pushed Tyrone two points clear -- 1-9 to 0-10 -- with three minutes remaining.

Ni Mhuircheartaigh popped over her sixth point in the final minute, but Tyrone were able to hold on.

Tyrone coach Niall Colton reflected: "The media were talking about Kerry being a surprise packet but Kerry beat Galway, Mayo and Armagh, three teams we didn't beat this year. So, in that respect, we were fully focused."

Scorers -- Tyrone: G Begley 1-3 (0-3f), J Donnelly 0-2 (0-1f), A O'Kane, C McGahan, S Connolly, C Donnelly 0-1 each. Kerry: L Ni Mhuircheartaigh 0-6 (0-4f), L Galvin 0-3, M O'Donoghue 0-2.

KERRY -- E Murphy; K Gleeson, A Leonard, A Lyons; E Sherwood, A Desmond, D Murphy; L Scanlon, B Breen; M O'Donoghue, S Joy, L Galvin; P Dennehy, L Ni Mhuircheartaigh, A Brosnan. Subs: S Houlihan for O'Donoghue (46), B Lane for Sherwood (56).

TYRONE -- S Lynch; E Teague, M Kelly, S McLaughlin; M Donnelly, N Woods, L Donnelly; S Quinn, S Donnelly; C Donnelly, G Begley, A O'Kane; C McGahan, S Connolly, J Donnelly. Subs: R Rafferty for Teague (h-t), N Murphy for McGahan (40).

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport