Tyrone ladies book final berth

Tyrone ladies book final berth

Tyrone are through to a very first TG4 All-Ireland ladies senior football final after squeezing past Kerry in Saturday’s semi-final replay at Banagher, Offaly.

Influential centre forward Gemma Begley led the charge with a 1-3 haul as the Red Hands edged out the Kingdom by just a single point - 1-9 to 0-11.

Tyrone will now meet last year’s beaten finalists Dublin in a novel decider at Croke Park on September 26 while Kerry will regroup for next year in good spirits after emerging as the surprise packets in this year’s championship.

Tyrone had to do it the hard way too as they came from three points down at half-time, 1-2 to 0-8, to secure the hard-earned win.

Begley netted after just 65 seconds to set the Red Hands on their way but they were outscored by 0-2 to 0-8 for the remainder of the half as Kerry came on strong.

Tyrone also suffered an early blown when Neamh Woods was unlucky to receive a yellow card for a challenge on Louise Galvin and spent ten 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.

Kerry then had a goal disallowed for a square ball in the 20th minute when Emma Sherwood’s fisted goal from top-scorer Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh’s free.

Catriona McGahan’s 22nd minute point for Tyrone levelled proceedings again at 1-2 to 0-5 but three unanswered points before half-time saw Kerry regain the initiative.

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 Ní Mhuircheartaigh responded with her and Kerry’s second point of the half.

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

Points from ace corner forward Joline Donnelly and Aisling O’Kane pushed Tyrone two points clear - 1-9 to 0-10 - with three minutes remaining before Ní Mhuircheartaigh popped over her sixth point in the final minute.

Scorers:

Tyrone: G Begley 1-3 (0-3f); J Donnelly (0-2, 1f), A O’Kane, C McGahan, S Connolly, C Donnelly (0-1) each

Kerry: L Ni Mhuircheartaigh (0-6, 4f), L Galvin (0-3), M O’Donoghue (0-2)

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