Tyrone had home advantage on Sunday in their NCL Division 4 fixture against Dublin IIIs in Healy Park.
On a calm and dry afternoon and the pitch was in good condition despite the previous day’s rain, Tyrone made the best of a scrappy start from both sides when they were awarded a free from the 45 metre line, Aisling Corr firing home the first point.
Dublin fought hard for every ball and were nearly rewarded except for the gritty defending from captain Julie Lagan who made a goal line clearance. Both teams were fighting hard for possession in and around the middle of the park and some good play from Niamh McNulty to Niamh Gavin secured another point for Tyrone.
Neither team had the complete upper hand and Dublins Lyn Devoy made light work of open space to take her team’s first point after eight minutes.
Corr, in the middle of the field, was very sharp and a pinpoint pass to Shauna Jordan saw another blistering run and slotted over another point. There were a lot of easy frees for Dublin and Clare Graham pinned Tyrone back with a well taken point.
Tyrone kept the pressure in midfield and Emma Fitzgerald was there at every free ball. She picked out Jordan and there was always only one outcome when she had open space and another point was registered.
Tyrone were now getting the upper hand and Corrs workrate in midfield was telling. Ailise Gormley was too pacey for her maker and a sublime pass to Aisling Jordan and on to McNulty who took her point with ease.
Dublin were awarded a free from the 45metre line and the ball was sent looping into the goal mouth area with Dublin’s Clodagh Rodgers steering the ball into the net.
The teams were now level for all of about a minute when Tyrone broke clear with Jordan who picked out McNulty and she fired home their first goal. After another Tyrone wide the whistle went with the score board reading. Tyrone 1-5 Dublin 1-2.
There were definite signs that Tyrone were starting to wear Dublin down as each minute passed.
Tyrone, however, had a few wide’s and Ashling Spillane in goals for Dublin made some excellent saves.
Tyrone brought on Pauline Barker and within minutes she had bagged her first goal. Emma McShane was fearless in her tackling and cleared the lines on many occasion.
Corr and Fitzgerald were again very strong in midfield and Ciara McGready was as usual on form as she gave her marker no chance.
Maggie Hagan took advantage of the midfield dominance and she took her first point but another Dublin reply kept the visitors close.
Jordan increased her points tally from a free before McNulty added two points.
Fitzgerald took full advantage of her own superiority and took a point of her own.
Dublin started to look weary but Roisin Barker who looked a bright spark for Dublin took a point for the visitors.
Tyrone’s Maggie Hagan again added to her personal haul before Dublin got a goal right at the end of the game.
Tyrone scorers: Niamh McNulty 1-3, Shauna Jordan 0-3,Pauline Barker 1-0, Maggie Hagan 0-2, Aisling Corr 0-1, Niamh Gavin 0-1, Emma Fitzgerald 0-1
It was a more resolute effort for the full 60 minutes for Tyrone this week and this was the difference between the teams.
Up next for the Red Hand girls is an away fixture with Kerry on March 23rd at a halfway venue.