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Woods is eager to make up for lost time as Red Hand ladies eye more Ulster joy

 

By John Campbell

Niamh Woods has a special reason for hoping that Tyrone come up trumps in tonight's Ulster Intermediate Ladies Football Championship final against Down at Clonmore.

The Drumragh club player captained the side in 2016 but broke her collarbone in the semi-final against Fermanagh and as a result missed the final.

She is hoping to make up for lost time tonight in a Red Hands side that will be favourites against a Down outfit which is a fusion of youth and experience.

The sides met in last year's decider which Tyrone won by 1-16 to 1-12 and Red Hands team manager Gerry Moane believes it could be equally close tonight.

Shannon Lynch, Christianne Hunter, Shannon Quinn, Niamh O'Neill, Emma Smyth, Maria Canavan and Gemma Begley are other key players in the Tyrone side.

Down are currently in transition but have quality players in Orla Boyle, Kate McKay, Laoise Duffy, Lauren Cunningham and Kyla Trainor.

Meanwhile, Monaghan will contest their 17th Ulster senior final in 18 years when they meet Donegal in the senior ladies football decider at Clones on Sunday.

While Monaghan beat Cavan at the semi-final stage, Donegal were given a rare fright by Armagh at that juncture and having trailed by 1-8 to 0-0 at the half-time interval, they eventually managed to overturn the deficit with Geraldine McLaughlin scoring 1-7.

On Sunday, she will link up with Yvonne McMonagle to form a twin strike force that could unhinge the Monaghan defence, with Karen Guthrie and Eilish Ward lending support when it comes to putting scores on the board.

Monaghan manager Paula Cunningham will look to Cora Courtney, Ellen McCarron, Ciara McAnespie, Sharon Courtney and Laura McEnaney for inspiration for what should be a pulsating encounter.

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