Monaghan have the edge
There’s no doubt that Tyrone and Monaghan provide one of the greatest rivalries in the ladies game, and this weekend they will play out the latest instalment of that enthralling battle at Ballybofey.
The winners of this weekend’s clash will automatically earn their place in the provincial decider, with the loser meeting Donegal in two weeks time for a second chance at making the final.
Monaghan head into the game very much as favourites. They have overcome every challenge presented to them so far in 2012, most recently having toppled the mighty Cork in the National League Division One final to bring to an abrupt end Cork’s five-in-a-row bid.
The Oriel girls are packed with quality, from goalkeeper Linda Martin through to Sharon Courtney, Christina Reilly and Aoife McAnespie at the back. Amanda Casey is a top drawer midfielder, but it is up front where Monaghan will expect to really capitalise.
They can call on the likes of Catriona McConnell, Aoife McAnespie, the evergreen Niamh Kindlon and young scoring sensation Caoimhe Mohan to get the scores which they hope will be enough to send them through.
Tyrone’s story in the build-up has been more about absences than those who are present, with eight of the side which lost to Laois last year unavailable to boss Gerry Moane.
Defender Eimear Teague underwent surgery last week for a hand injury, midfielder Sarah Donnelly has gone travelling, while a number of others are also on the treatment bench or absent from the side.
They still have a quality side to call upon, with Cathy and Joline Donnelly as well as Gemma Begley once again set to be scorers-in-chief for the Red Hand outfit. At the other end of the field young defender Tori McLaughlin has made the corner-back slot her own, while Shannon Quinn will also have a key role to play in proceedings.
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published on Thursday June 4. Buy your copy now in your local newsagent, or you can purchase the online version – for only 90p – by clicking here