Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Mallaghan decision costly for Tyrone

Tyrone's hopes of reaching the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Final were dashed by a more robust, focused Mayo side who triumphed by 2-13 to 2-8 in a frenetic semi-final at Kingspan Breffni Park, Cavan.



And while Tyrone were left to lick their physical wounds, they were also coping with psychological scars following an indifferent performance from referee Tony Clarke (Dublin).

Tyrone players and officials were less than impressed with his handling of the game and not merely because Red Hands goalkeeper Elaine Mallaghan was sin-binned shortly before the interval after the outstanding Cora Staunton drilled home a penalty.

Staunton's verbal onslaught following the conversion of the kick elicited a reaction from Mallaghan - and Tyrone paid the penalty for her subsequent absence.

Yet the sides were deadlocked at 1-5 each at halftime, Cathy Donnelly having fired in Tyrone's goal with Gemma Begley again a big force in their attack.

Even without Niamh Woods and Emer Teague, Tyrone still played with spirit and gusto but with Staunton irrepressible - she scored 1-8 in all - Mayo moved into a commanding position.

It was not until the concluding stages that Begley smacked home a penalty to give the final scoreline a rather more respectable look but the fact that several refereeing decision seemed to go against them appeared to impact on Tyrone's morale.

Meanwhile, in the Tyrone Senior Football Championship, Cookstown are through to the semi-finals following their fine win over Edendork and join Dromore in the last four.

But the Errigan Ciaran v Donaghmore match is still unresolved.

Last weekend the game was postponed because of a bereavement suffered by the Donaghmore club and on Saturday night the fixture had to be abandoned at halftime after an Errigan Ciaran player Paul Quinn took ill in the dressing room.

A member of the Donaghmore team who was a doctor attended to him and he was taken to hospital for observation.

At that stage Donaghmore were leading by 1-6 to 0-6, Seamus Mulgrew having scored their goal but the game will now be replayed next Friday night in Omagh.

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