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Tyrone, Down do Ulster proud on All-Ireland stage in superb style

Lara Devlin
Lara Devlin
John Campbell

By John Campbell

It's not often that two Ulster counties enjoy a helping of success at All-Ireland level in camogie on the same weekend.

But Tyrone and Down did exactly that when they came good in their respective assignments.

Tyrone swept to a convincing 3-12 to 0-6 over Kerry in the All-Ireland Minor 'C' decider while Down defeated Meath by 3-6 to 1-6 in the All-Ireland 'B' Minor Shield final.

The Red Hands team had already assured themselves of victory over their Kingdom opponents when they led by 3-4 to 0-2 half time with their goals coming from Lara Devlin, Kaitlin Gallagher and Catherine Muldoon.

Kerry simply could not match their opponents for pace and power and could only manage two points after the break.

In contrast, Tyrone tacked on another eight points with Reagan Fay, Eimear Colton and Francene Fay proving the architects of many of their scores throughout what was ultimately a rather one-sided contest.

Down had to battle that little bit harder before coming out on top against Meath and their win owed as much to resolve and stamina as it did to skill and flair.

Down led by 3-3 to 1-4 at half-time and although Meath gave it all they had in the second-half they never looked like overhauling the Mourne girls.

Down joint managers Noel Sands and Francie McGrath hailed their team's breakthrough on the All-Ireland stage.

Former Down hurling ace Sands admitted that prior to the game Down were "apprehensive enough" in relation to the challenge that they would face.

"We knew it was going to be very tough but we got a couple of early breaks which stood to us and we were able to push on from there," said Sands.

"The team certainly rose to the occasion on the day and you really can't ask for more than that. Hopefully this will prove the springboard for more success for these girls possibly at a higher level."

"They have sent out a very encouraging message for camogie in Down, that's for sure."

Meanwhile, Jenny McCavana will still be an absentee when Antrim face Fermanagh in the Lidl Ladies National Football League Division Four final at Clones on Saturday (2pm).

Manager Sean O'Kane said: "It's a pity that Jenny is still out because she is a very experienced player but we have to go with what we have. I think the team has shown great character and they'll need that."

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