By Tom Clancy
The Very Camogie League Division 4 crown went the way of Tyrone, after the exhibition of point scoring saw off a gallant Mayo effort. Key scoring from Lara Devlin and sub Roisín McErlean paved the way a Red Hand success.
This clash, played in Joe Fox Memorial Park in Tang, Co Westmeath was a game of high quality between two evenly matched sides. The sides were level a number of times over the course of the hour of camogie.
If there was any doubt as the intent of these sides, the opening 140 seconds showed it was going to be attacking, free-flowing action. Mayo notched the first two points with Lisa Scahill scoring immediately, before Ciara Delaney was also on target inside a minute. Then, a wonderful brace from Casey Gallagher and a near strike from star forward for Tyrone, Lara Devlin, put the Ulster side ahead.
Ava Lambert found the game’s first goal on six minutes. Powering home from the 13-meter line, having received a neat pass from midfield partner Aoife Doherty. Meabh Delaney missed out for Mayo but Doherty filed her place in the middle.
Tyrone’s notable running style was reaping rewards, with Devlin joined on the scoresheet by Kaitlin Gallagher and Reagan Fay (free).
The first wide of the game arrived on 21 minutes, emphasised the high-quality nature of this clash. Declan Sherlock saw his side hit three wides in the first half, while Mayo registered none in a frantic 30 minutes of action.
Hannah Tener showed why her late inclusion in the starting side was justified, when she found the net for a second Mayo goal. She doubled on a dropping free from Amy Mulkeen. This put Mayo a point to the good nearing the short whistle. This came a few minutes after Schill hand been denied by a stunning save from Una McCann, the Tyrone custodian.
The sides were level at the interval, 2-6 to 0-12, with the final say going to Lara Devlin. She raced out wide to the left wing, before dropping another inch-perfect effort straight between the posts.
The next quarter was much tighter as the scoring slowed somewhat. Nevertheless, it was Lara Devlin who continued where she left off. The Edendork star landed a seventh from play while Fay’s free and a brace of efforts from Roisín McErlean put them 0-16 to 2-7 ahead entering the final 10 minutes.
Mayo played the second period wind assisted, but their failure to make quality use of it will haunt them when they review this narrow loss.
McErlean would finish with three points, the margin of victory as Mayo couldn’t match the energy shown by the Mayo side.
The Connacht sides inability to find scores from play, which had come so freely in the first half was costly. They chased a third, equalising goal late on, but never troubled Una McCann in the second half. The Tyrone defence had sharpened up to the key influences in the Mayo attack and thus, gave them the platform to secure the match.
Declan Sherlock’s side held on, to back up their victory over the same opposition in the group phase, with captain Siobhan Donnelly collecting the silverware on behalf of her ecstatic teammates. Lara Devlin was awarded Player of the Match following her magnificent seven points.
SCORERS FOR TYRONE: Lara Devlin 0-7; R McErlean (1f), C Gallagher 0-3 each; K Gallagher, R Fay (2fs) 0-2 each; A Daly 0-1
SCORERS FOR MAYO: L Scahill 0-7 (5fs); A Lambert, H Tener 1-0 each; A Mulkeen, C Delaney 0-1 each
TYRONE: U McCann, B Barker, C Jordan, M Clarke, A McDonald, G McDonald, L Fitzgerald, S Donnelly, A Daly, K Gallagher, C Gallagher, R Fay, C Little, S McGann, L Devlin. Subs: Á Cunningham for Donnelly (blood 7-8), R McErlean for McCann (ht), B Moohan for Fitzgerald (ht), R McKee for Little (54)
MAYO: A Crawley, E Kelly, A Mulkeen, G Delaney, R Cassidy, R Lyons, N Greally, A Doherty, A Lambert, C Delaney, L Scahill, L Keane, S Mooney, H Tener, S Golden. Subs: S Delaney for Tener (40), C Delaney for Mooney (50)
REFEREE: Bernard Heaney (Meath)