On a busy weekend for Tyrone gaels, it will be “ladies first” on Saturday as the senior side open their all Ireland championship group series at home to Mayo. Healy Park 2pm
It’s the Tyrone ladies first outing in the all Ireland senior football championship since 2015 , a first too in this new format of games at this level, yet they come into the game and the series with three Ulster intermediate titles and two all Ireland finals under their belts with the success last year still fresh in the memory.
Tyrone pushed Donegal all the way in their recent Ulster championship tie, on the back of that performance coupled with what Donegal went on to do in the Provincial series, Gerry Moane and his side will take plenty of positives into Saturdays game.
On the down side Captain Neamh Woods is expected to miss the game due to her netball world cup commitments and a handful of players are carrying knocks after a hectic programme of league and championship football, Moane explained “It’s not ideal, Neamh will be away and our medical team have been very busy but look it will be an opportunity for other players to step up, that’s why we have a squad, we have no choice and as far as when the game is and all that, we will leave that to others, we are only focused on the game itself,”
Mayo suffered a 3-7 to 0-9 loss to Galway in the Connacht final replay last Saturday night, Peter Leahy’s side never really got going, he had little complaint about the eventual outcome, “The result isn’t disappointing me, it’s the performance that disappoints me,” said Leahy afterwards, he has called for improvement at Healy Park.
The Tyrone manager is looking forward to the game, keen to build on that Ulster outing, “We were close to Donegal and when you see what they did to Armagh in the final you have to say we are closing the gap, Mayo will be tough, they are a very experienced side, household names and quality but we are a hungry team, there’s experience here too, we will be well prepared and have a game plan for Mayo,”