TYRONE Ladies’ manager Gerry Moane promises that his team will give a much better account of themselves when they meet Armagh for the second time in a fortnight in Friday week’s All-Ireland Championship group stage clash.
They met in an Ulster Championship semi-final on Saturday, and it was truly a day to forget for the Red Hands.
While it was their first competitive outing in seven months and two usual starts had to self-isolate because of Covid-19 regulations, Moane says there can be no excuse for a pitiful performance in the first-half.
They trailed 4-10 to 1-3 at the break, but to their credit they didn’t throw in the white towel and outscored their opponents by 0-7 to 0-4 in the second-half.
“It was seven months since our last game and it showed, but that doesn’t excuse some of the stuff that happened in the first half.
“We didn’t compete in any area of the pitch, and if that happens in a championship match against a senior outfit, you’re going to be put to the sword and that’s what happened.
“There’s no excuses for that from anybody, but in fairness we dug deep and and won the second-half.
“We asked them to stand up and be counted and they did that. Winning the second-half is a consolation prize but it sets us up for our next go at them.”
The Tyrone defenders were particularly inhibited in the first-half as they conceded scores from every direction. Moane wonders whether apprehension about playing in the current climate had something to do with their lack-lustre display.
“There’s that bit of fear and you sometimes wonder about whether the players’ heads are within the squad as well.
“A couple of the girls had to self-isolate for two weeks, and we lost our starting full-forward Siobhan Sheerin yesterday, but that kinda thing is going to happen all over Ireland.
“It’s disruptive but we’re all going to have to deal with it. We have to do things a lot better and rest assured we will when it comes to the next day.”
Armagh raced into a 1-5 to no score lead by the ninth minute and pushed on from there aas they built up an insurmountable half-time lead. It made for awful watching from a Tyrone perspective as Caroline O’Hanlon and the Mackin sisters ran riot in attack, but they improved massively in the second half and Moane knows what they have to do if they’re to gain revenge in the All-Ireland series.
“They got loads of time and space on the ball and were allowed to dictate things all over the park. We allowed them to do that and things will change the next day.”