Sunday 18 February 2018

McCarthy turns in Premier display to sink valiant Tyrone

Tipperary 1-13 Tyrone 1-10 All-Ireland Ladies IF final

Aisling McCarthy of Tipperary holds off the challenge of Tyrone’s Shannon Cunningham during yesterday’s intermediate final. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Aisling McCarthy of Tipperary holds off the challenge of Tyrone’s Shannon Cunningham during yesterday’s intermediate final. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

A fine contribution of 1-4 from Aisling McCarthy helped her to the Player of the Match award and Tipperary to the intermediate crown at the expense of a valiant Tyrone side at Croke Park.

Shane Ronayne's charges ground out a three-point victory to seal senior championship football for themselves in 2018. Victory caps a glorious season for the Premier County, who also won Division 3 and Munster titles.

Gillian O'Brien chipped in with four points, while Róisín Howard and Mairead Morrissey, a survivor from Tipp's previous intermediate win in 2008, landed two points each.

Landing

Tipp, who survived some nervy moments before landing the Mary Quinn Memorial Cup, were extremely well organised for the most part, with another 2008 winner, Jennifer Grant, operating in the sweeper role.

Tyrone battled extremely hard, but they'll operate in the intermediate ranks again next year as Tipp join Kerry, Cork and Waterford to make a four-team Munster senior championship.

Tipperary's Jennifer Grant battles for possession with Tyrone's Niamh O'Neill. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Tipperary's Jennifer Grant battles for possession with Tyrone's Niamh O'Neill. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Tipp end the 2017 season unbeaten and with a glut of silverware to show for their efforts, and it was a vital run of 1-3 without reply in the first-half that proved crucial to this win.

Tipp found themselves on the back foot right from the start, as Lauren Fitzpatrick denied Lycrecia Quinn with a brilliant save after 15 seconds.

Tipp settled, though, and were 0-3 to 0-1 clear before Gráinne Rafferty slotted home a classy 16th-minute goal for Tyrone.

The response from Tipp was excellent as Howard and McCarthy (free) landed points, before McCarthy netted in the 18th minute.

Aishling Moloney blasts the ball over the bar from close range. Photo Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Aishling Moloney blasts the ball over the bar from close range. Photo Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

It was a moment of quick-thinking from the Cahir midfielder, as she picked off Caoileann Conway's hand pass before lobbing stranded goalkeeper Shannon Lynch.

Gillian O'Brien was almost in for a second Tipp goal a minute later - but Lynch pulled off a brilliant save to keep Tyrone in it.

A point from O'Brien completed Tipp's purple patch.

Tipp were almost in for a second goal before half-time. Aishling Moloney was fouled in the process of shooting, but with play allowed to continue Morrissey fisted the ball over for a point.

Gemma Begley, one of Tyrone's 2010 senior finalists, completed the first-half scoring, but Tipp had a four-point interval lead to protect - and they managed to do so.

Gráinne Rafferty of Tyrone scores her side's first goal despite the best efforts of Jennifer Grant. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Gráinne Rafferty of Tyrone scores her side's first goal despite the best efforts of Jennifer Grant. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

The lead was out to five points early in the second-half and while Fitzpatrick saved from Begley in the 37th minute, Tipp were managing to keep Tyrone at bay.

Chloe McCaffrey's magnificent point in the 47th minute brought Tyrone to within three, but a brace of McCarthy frees pushed the gap out to five again.

Tyrone weren't finished as Maria Canavan (free) and Begley landed late points, but Tipp held on to atone for their 2013 final loss to Cavan.

Scorers - Tipperary: A McCarthy 1-4 (4f), G O'Brien 0-4, M Morrissey, R Howard 0-2 each, A Moloney 0-1.

Samantha Lambert of Tipperary celebrates with the cup following the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Intermediate Championship Final match between Tipperary and Tyrone at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Samantha Lambert of Tipperary celebrates with the cup following the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Intermediate Championship Final match between Tipperary and Tyrone at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Tyrone: G Begley 0-4 (3f), G Rafferty 1-0, EJ Gervin, M Canavan (2f) 0-2 each, N O'Neill, C McCaffrey 0-1 each.

Tipperary: L Fitzpatrick; S Condon, M Curley, E Buckley; B Condon, S Lambert, L Dillon; A McCarthy, J Grant; N Lonergan, M Morrissey, A Moloney; R Howard, G O'Brien, O O'Dwyer. Subs: C Condon for Lonergan (47), C Walsh for Howard (56).

Tyrone: S Lynch; E Brennan, E Mulgrew, C Conway; N Woods, S Cunningham, C Hunter; M Mallon, E.J. Gervin; N Hughes, L Quinn, Á Canavan; N O'Neill, G Begley, G Rafferty. Subs: N McGirr for Conway (20), M Canavan for Rafferty (37), E Hegarty for Á Canavan (37), C McCaffrey for Quinn (50).

Ref - G McMahon (Dublin).

Irish Independent

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