The Tyrone senior team hosted a talented Dublin squad in Pairc Chormaic on Saturday past in the All Ireland Junior A championship. The heavy downpours of the previous week were absent as the sun was out to compliment an excellent surface. Dublin are the current All Ireland League Division 4 champions and their full talent was on show. The start was frantic and within five minutes Tyrone narrowly missed a point when captain Aisling Corr was awarded a free on the 45 metre line. Dublins Joeleen Hoary pounced on a loose ball and scored their first point. There was a lot physical play in the centre of the park and Hoary was the beneficiary of an excellent pass and she made no mistake and found the back of the net. Tyrone failed to let the pressure tell and Niamh McNulty received a perfect pass from Corr but her shot went wide from a tight angle. Dublin again applied the pressure and Tyrones Siobhan Hughes and Ciara McGready were resolute in defense and Catherine Hanna was strong and determined against a strong and physical forward line. Tyrone goal keeper Kelley Anne Fay made some outstanding saves that kept Dublin at bay. Fay was able to find her midfield players with ease and Tyrone were not by any means outclassed. Maria Jordan received the ball from Fay and in turn Niamh McNulty was singled out with a precise pass and a goal resulted for the young forward. There was another fierce battle in the midfield and as a result the ball fell kindly for Dublin and an unmarked Hoary again scored a great goal. Tyrone had two more frees and the high winds were playing a part and wide after wide resulted. Dublin cranked up the pressure and within five minutes registered another goal and two points. The game was not totally reflecting the scoreboard and McNulty gave Tyrone another goal that kept the home side close enough to be in the hunt. Ursula McKernan and Claire McGuckin were introduced for Tyrone. Dublin scored another point before the half time whistle blew. The scoreboard read Tyrone 2.0 Dublin 3.4.
The second half started as the first half with both sides going in hard at every tackle and Maria Jordan scored a long range free within the opening minute. Dublin retaliated and scored a point of their own shortly after. There then followed a ten minute spell without any score and the Tyrone players were first to every ball and Julie Lagan tortured her marker with her pace and accuracy but the resulting play did not materialise into scores. Dublin had little of the play but were clinical when they had the ball and score another point after 10 minutes of the second half. Tyrone had all the play and Dublin were unable to cope with the Tyrone midfield of Corr and the Jordans. Orla Foley also had a lot of the play and won successive frees. Whenever the ball did manage to get past the half way line for Dublin Niamh Gavin seemed to clear her lines with ease with massive range on her clearances. Laura Barker and Lauren Fitzgerald were introduced and the the team seemed to gel and get stronger. Emma Fitzgerald was at times too pacy for her marker. In the resulting frees Maria and Shauna Jordan found their range with two brilliant points. There was a lapse in the Tyrone defense and Dublin had a two on one with Fay in goals but it resulted in a brilliant stop and clearance for the in form Tyrone goal keeper. There was five minutes left when Dublin got a fortunate free and a deflected goal was scored. Tyrone went straight up the field and Corr scored a goal of her own at close range. Maria Jordan who was at the centre of everything scored another point and at that the final whistle blew. The final score was Tyrone 3.5 Dublin 4.6. The Tyrone scorers Aisling Corr 1.1 Shauna Jordan 0.1 Niamh McNulty 2.0 Maria Jordan 0.3.
Tyrone will now face Offaly away next week and Tyrone will take heart at only loosing by four points to an outstanding Dublin side.
Everyone at Tyrone camogie would like to wish Eglish under 14s every success when they travel to Dublin to represent Tyrone in the All Ireland Féile. Congratulations to the Tyrone Minor footballers after their win against a strong Derry side on Saturday. Tyrone goal keeper Kelley Anne Fay is on the staff of the minor panel and we wish her all the best in the final.