By Donal Barry
At Fitzgerald Stadium
A new look Tyrone turned in a spirited display against Kerry on Sunday but came away empty handed on the opening day of the Tesco national league. A ten point loss for Tyrone who are very much in transition but plenty of positives as several players finally stepped out of the shadows and new faces made their senior debuts in the fine surroundings of Fitzgerald Stadium.
It was an historic day for Tyrone’s hosts, the last time they played at Fitzgerald Stadium was 1993, Kerry went on to win the All-Ireland and if its omens are anything to go by it could pave a way to Croke Park. In reality Tyrone
Kerry started brightly but it took 2-point blank saves by Shannon Lynch to keep them at bay and they would have been disappointed with the 0-5 to 0-2 lead after 15 mins. Shannon Lynch produced a stunning save early on as Ni Mhuirtceartaigh saw her stinging shot stopped.
Tyrone played much the better football for remainder of the first half but with Gemma Begley their only player finding the scoring touch, they trailed the home side 0-7 to 0-4 at the break. At times Tyrone pressed so well they had the Kerry defence at sixes and sevens , Hunter, Begley and Donnelly created openings but failure to convert seemed to be an end product of many of their attacks, that was of course going to haunt them later in the tie.
Kerry moved up another gear in the second half and when Patrice Dennehy slammed her effort to the net on the 38th minute, it looked like Tyrone would fold. However, they again responded positively with two more Begley points and reduced the gap to five but it was as close as they were going to get as Kerry hit a purple patch and added seven points of their own
Gemma Begley saw her 40M free drop in over debutant Amanda Brosnan in the Kerry goal to put a better reflection on it in the 58th minute
Tyrone: S Lynch, t McLaughlin, C Muldoon, E Teague, M Donnelly, N Woods, C Dooher, E Hegarty, L
Kilpatrick, G Begley 1-6 (0-2F), C Hunter, C Donnelly, E L Mulgre, M Conwell, S McLaughlin
Subs: C McDonald for S McLaughlin (40), R Forbes for C Hunter (55), K Quinn for E Teague (50), L
Conwell for M Conwell (55)
Referee: Michael John O’Keefe (Cork)