Tyrone ladies claim Cork scalp

Tyrone blew the race for the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies senior football championship wide open at Banagher today as they claimed a famous quarter-final victory against All-Ireland champions Cork.

Tyrone blew the race for the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies senior football championship wide open at Banagher today as they claimed a famous quarter-final victory against All-Ireland champions Cork.

The Red Hands ran out 3-11 to 0-13 winners against the Leesiders, who had claimed the last five TG4 All-Ireland Ladies SFC titles.

This was a truly seismic result at the Offaly venue as Cork’s dreams of a sixth successive crown were dashed in sensational style at the finish.

The Rebelettes finished the match with just 13 players as defenders Bríd Stack and Aisling Barrett received yellow cards and were sin-binned in the closing minutes.

With that numerical advantage, Tyrone bagged two late goals to clinch a memorable success as full-forward Sarah Connolly (57) and inspirational midfielder Sarah Donnelly (60) raised green flags for the Ulster outfit.

Remarkably, Cork had led by 0-11 to 0-5 at half-time, having reeled off six unanswered points before the interval.

The sides had been level at 0-5 apiece with 15 minutes on the watch but Cork cut loose with a clinical run of scores to open up a healthy advantage at the midway point.

Cork, however, were rocked in the first half when centre forward Ciara O’Sullivan and experienced defender Geraldine O’Flynn were forced off through injury.

And the rot really set in after half-time as Cork managed just two points in the entire second half - both from Valerie Mulcahy frees.

Tyrone set about eating into Cork’s lead but didn’t appear to be making much headway until Aisling O’Kane goaled with 13 minutes of normal time remaining.

Mulcahy hit back with a Cork free, her side’s first score for 20 minutes, but points from Sarah Connolly and centre forward Gemma Begley brought Tyrone level at 1-10 to 0-13 with five minutes left.

Then, Cork’s discipline left them down as first Stack and then Barrett were yellow-carded for fouls on Sarah Donnelly and Joline Donnelly respectively.

Connolly took advantage to goal from close range with three minutes remaining after Sarah Donnelly’s shot struck an upright before Donnelly found the net herself in the final minute with an impressive finish past Elaine Harte.

Tyrone’s reward for this stunning win is a semi-final meeting with championship surprise packets Kerry, while Dublin and Laois will meet in the other semi-final.

The Dublin-Laois clash is a repeat of the TG4 Leinster decider, which Dublin won, and the Sky Blues are now the only remaining provincial champions left in the All-Ireland series.

Before Tyrone sent shock waves through the ladies game, Laois had put paid to Ulster champions Monaghan in the first game of a Banagher double-header.

Laois proved that momentum through the qualifiers counts for a lot as the O’Moore County secured a 0-12 to 0-9 victory against the beaten 2008 All-Ireland finalists.

At half-time, Laois led by 0-6 to 0-3 after the sides had been level three times in the opening 20 minutes.

Then, scores from captain Angela Casey, Mary Kirwin and dominant midfielder Tracey Lawlor helped Laois to a three-point half-time advantage.

It was a lead they would hold all the way to the finish and Monaghan never looked like finding a way through a resolute Laois defence, with Lorraine Muckian and Aisling Quigley particularly good in the full-back line.

Three minutes from time, and with Laois leading by 0-11 to 0-7, top scorer Noirin Kirwan sensibly popped over a penalty after the 21-year-old forward was fouled by Grainne McNally.

Sub Caoimhe Mohan and a strangely subdued Ciara McAnespie hit points in the final minute but they were mere consolation efforts as the O’Moore County booked their place in the last four for the first time in three years.

TG4 All-Ireland Ladies senior football championship quarter-final results:

Saturday August 21

Laois 0-12 Monaghan 0-9.

Cork 0-13 Tyrone 3-11.

Scorers for Laois: N Kirwan 0-4 (3f, 0-1 pen), T Lawlor 0-3 (2f), A Casey 0-2, M Kirwin 0-1, A Taylor 0-1, A O’Loughlin 0-1.

Scorers for Monaghan: C McConnell 0-3 (2f), G McNally 0-2, M Woods 0-1, T McNally 0-1f, C Mohan 0-1, C McAnespie 0-1.

***

Scorers for Cork: V Mulcahy 0-5 (4f), J Murphy 0-3 (1f), R Ní Bhuachalla 0-2, N Cleary 0-1, M O’Connor 0-1, L McMahon 0-1.

Scorers for Tyrone: S Connolly 1-2, A O’Kane 1-1, G Begley 0-4 (1f), S Donnelly 1-0, J Donnelly 0-1, C McGahan 0-2 (1f), S Quinn 0-1.

***

TG4 All-Ireland Ladies senior football championship semi-final draw:

Tyrone v Kerry

Dublin v Laois

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