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All Ireland Ladies Final: Bridge too far for Tyrone

By Micheal McGeary

Tyrone Ladies 0-9 Dublin Ladies 3-16: Tyrone’s bid for a first All Ireland Ladies football title ended in bitter disappointment in Croke Park yesterday.

Their amazing eight-game odyssey which saw them account for defending champions Cork came to a shuddering halt against a Dublin side that was superior in all departments.

Tyrone needed to start well if they were to silence the Dublin fans but they never looked like achieving this and instead, by half time the game was well beyond the Tyrone ladies when they trailed by nine points 2-8 to 0-5.

It didn’t get any better in the second half as Dublin picked off scores at will with Sinead Aherne the game’s outstanding performer finishing with a highly impressive two goals and seven points.

For whatever reason the losers were never able to replicate the form that took them to the de

cider, possibly it was down to nerves on the big occasion or perhaps it was simply that they came up against a side that was brimming with quality.

In addition Dublin were far more experienced having appeared in three losing finals including last season’s one point defeat to Cork. And they had on the day an unstoppable attack.

Aherne may have taken the scoring honours but basketball international Lyndsey Peat, Lyndsey Davey, and Aveen Mc Guinness all played significant roles in the comprehensive victory.

Once Tyrone failed to get through for early scores on the restart the game was effectively over especially from the moment Aherne got through for Dublin’s third goal.

Physically stronger the Dublin ladies made that count as they repeatedly cut lanes through the opposing defence as Tyrone tried desperately to stem the tide.

Dublin possibly should have beaten Cork last season, but they put all that behind them with the most complete and comprehensive display — strong and resourceful through the pitch they left Tyrone grasping at shadows.

Things began to unfurl for the losers as early as the 17th minute when Amy McGuinness broke through for the first of three Dublin goals and with half time in sight Aherne shot to the net for the first of her two goals.

Once Tyrone failed to conjure up early scores on the restart the end was effectively in sight and Aherne’s second goal was no more than the icing on the cake.

Gemma Begley top scored for the losers on four points, Jolene Donnelly adding two.

It was a sad end to a day that promised so much for Tyrone, but few teams in Ireland could have matched Dublin such with their armoury of skills with which they tormented Tyrone the longer the game progressed.

There was some consolation when Donegal beat Waterford to take the Intermediate Ladies title 2-12 to 0-16.

TYRONE: S Lynch, E Teague, M Kelly, S McLaughlin(c), M Donnelly, N Woods, L Donnelly, S Donnelly, S Quinn 0-1, C Donnelly, G Begley, 0-5 A O'Kane, C McGahan, S Connolly, J Donnelly 0-3

DUBLIN: C O'Connor, R Ruddy, A Cluxton, M Kavanagh, S McGrath, S Furlong, G Fay 0-1, D Masterson (c), N McEvoy , M Nevin, A McGuinness, 1-3, L Peat, 0-1, L Davey,0-2, S Aherne, 2-7, E Kelly. 0-2.

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