Tyrone and Laois booked their places in the quarter-finals of the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies senior football championship with comfortable round 2 qualifier victories today.
A six-day turnaround proved too much for beaten Connacht finalists Sligo to deal with as they were hammered by a rejuvenated Tyrone on a 5-20 to 2-7 scoreline.
Laois, runners-up to Dublin in the Leinster decider, hit back with a 3-13 to 1-11 victory against provincial rivals Kildare in the second match of a double-header at Cusack Park, Mullingar.
Based on today’s evidence, Tyrone could yet emerge as championship dark horses and have regrouped well after coughing up the provincial crown they won in 2009.
The Red Hands demolished Leitrim in round 1 of the qualifiers last weekend and they ran riot against Sligo as Western opposition was put to the sword once again.
Sarah Connolly helped herself to a hat-trick of goals, including two in the first half as Tyrone went on to lead by 3-12 to 0-4 at the break.
Aisling O’Kane hit Tyrone’s other first-half goal before player of the match Gemma Begley (penalty) and Connolly raised the green flags in the second half.
Stephanie O’Reilly and Jackie Mulligan did find the net for Sligo in the second half but they were consolation scores as the Yeats County bow out of the TG4 championship.
Meanwhile, a 2-4 haul from player of the match Tracy Lawlor helped Laois, managed by former county star Joe Higgins, on their way to a nine-point success against Kildare.
The crucial score was Lawlor’s first goal in the final minute of the first half as the midfielder’s speculative free bounced off the unfortunate Aisling Savage and ended up in the back of the net.
Some confusion surrounded the first half tally racked up by Laois but it was finally confirmed as 1-9 as Kildare responded with 0-4 by the midway point.
Kildare hit back with a Tracy Noone early in the second half but Laois were back in firm control of the game when Aisling Kehoe netted a superb 44th minute goal to hand the winners a 2-11 to 1-5 lead.
Lawlor added a second goal late in the game but it was another fortuitous effort as Kildare goalkeeper Aisling O’Donovan could only parry a long-range free into her own net.
TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Senior football Championship – Round 2 Qualifier Results:
Tyrone 5-20 Sligo 2-7, Cusack Park (Mullingar)
Laois 3-13 Kildare 1-11, Cusack Park (Mullingar)
Scorers for Tyrone: S Connolly 3-1, G Begley 1-5, C Donnelly 0-6, A O'Kane 1-2, J Donnelly 0-3, C McGahan 0-2, O O'Neill 0-1.
Scorers for Sligo: S O'Reilly 1-1, N Gormley 0-4, J Mulligan 1-0, B Byrne & K Maloney 0-1 each.
Scorers for Laois: T Lawlor 2-4, N Kirwan 0-4, A Kehoe 1-1, G Weston 0-2, M Dunne & M Kirwan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kildare: T Noone 0-4, B Leahy & C O’Malley 0-2 each, D Gately, M Murphy & S Hurley 0-1 each.