FOOTBALL: Tyrone 3-17 Clare 1-15 (Lidl NFL Division 2 Relegation Play-off)
By DENIESE O’FLAHERTY
Niamh Hughes and Chloe McCaffrey were on fire as Tyrone retained their Lidl National Football League Division 2 status and relegated Clare at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park in Longford.
It was no more than Tyrone deserved, they were excellent in attack but their goalkeeper Sinead McVey was superb throughout too.
The Ulster county started the game well with McCaffrey kicking over the opening score. She was involved in the next score that Sláine McCarroll pointed and the lead was three in the sixth minute.
Clare hit over two points before a neat Hughes point restored Tyrone’s two-point advantage after 10 minutes. Then Clare took the lead for the first time; Tyrone keeper McVey pulled off a fine save to deny Chloe Moloney but she made no mistake with the rebound.
The sides were level after 15 minutes but points from Fidelma Marrinan and Grainne Nolan edged Clare ahead by two in the 20th minute. Tyrone were thwarted twice by the Banner keeper Micaela Glynn but she was beaten in the 23rd minute when Grainne Rafferty slotted home a penalty.
The Red Hands were ahead by four in the 23rd minute. Clare tried hard to get back into the game. Moloney brought a fine save out of McVey in the 27th minute. Grainne Nolan came up with a point for Clare to leave the score at half-time, 1-10 to 1-7, in favour of Tyrone.
Clare cut the gap to two at the start of the second half but that was the closest they got to Tyrone. Great determination from Hughes saw her score Tyrone’s second goal in the 34th minute. Hughes set up McCaffrey for Tyrone’s third goal eight minutes later.
Try as they might, Clare piled on the pressure but McVey was immense in the Tyrone goals making a number of crucial saves to deny them in the final quarter. Moloney worked hard for her side but McCarroll fired over the final point for Tyrone as they retained their Division 2 status.
Scorers – Tyrone: N Hughes 1-5 (1f) C McCaffrey 1-4 (2f), N O’Neill 0-4 (2f), G Rafferty 1-1 (1-0 pen), S McCarroll 0-2, M Cananavan 0-1
Clare: C Moloney 1-5 (1f), G Nolan 0-4 (2f), F Marrinan 0-3, S Considine 0-1, L Roche 0-1, C McCarthy 0-1.
TYRONE: S McVey; E Mulgrew, C Magee, K Murphy; J Lyons, E Brennan, S McCarroll; E Hegarty, EJ Gerwin; N Hughes, C McCaffrey, D Gallagher; S Byrne, N O’Neill, G Rafferty.
Subs: C Munroe for Murphy (41), M Canavan for Byrne (46), L McAlary for Lyons (56).
CLARE: M Glynn; O Devitt, T Kelly, G Harvey; S Ní Chonaill, L Ryan, E O’Gorman; A Reidy, S Considine; C Callanan, L Roche, C Moloney; L Griffin, F Marrinan, G Nolan.
Subs: J Doohan for Griffin (26), R Doohan for Considine (38), A Sexton for Roche (41), C McCarthy for O’Gorman (49), S O’Keeffe for Ryan (49).
Referee: Paul Burke (Louth).