By JOHN FALLON
Monaghan suffered relegation from Division 1 of the Lidl Ladies NFL when they slipped to a one-point defeat after a good contest at Semple Stadium in Thurles.
Monaghan fought back bravely but came up short in the end as Tipperary held on for a priceless victory.
The accuracy of free-taker Aishling Moloney was key to Tipperary’s challenge against the breeze but Monaghan had cause to regret several missed goal chances, not least two penalties within a minute of each other.
The first effort from Leanne Maguire after seven minutes was superbly saved by Lauren Fitzpatrick and then shortly afterwards following a foot block, Muireann Atkinson saw her shot crash off the right post before being cleared.
Monaghan did find the net after nine minutes when Cora Courtney slotted into the roof of the net but less than a minute later Maguire saw another goal effort flash the wrong side of the right post.
It meant that Monaghan went in at the break leading by just 1-6 to 0-8 having played with the breeze, with Maguire, Rosemary Courtney, Ciara McAnespie and Cora Courney also finding the range for the Ulster side.
Orla O’Dwyer got Tipperary off the mark after just 19 seconds but it was left to Moloney to supply all of their other opening half scores, with the Cahir player kicking seven frees from a variety of angle after an opening half where they were level three times.
The sides were level twice in the opening ten minutes of the second-half before Maguire edged Monaghan back in front with her fifth point of the game after 41 minutes.
But then Tipperary struck for a goal when Caitlin Kennedy finished a high delivery from Ava Fennessy to the net after 43 minutes and Roisin Howard added a point to lead by 1-11 to 1-8.
Maguire pulled back a couple of pointed frees for Monaghan to leave the minimum between the sides going into the final ten minutes of the contest.
Sarah Everard doubled Tipperary’s lead with a good point from the left and a pointed free from Moloney made it 1-13 to 1-10.
Maguire’s eighth point of the match cut the gap but a free from 55 metres by Moloney left Tipperary leading by a goal with four minutes remaining.
Roisin Daly put four between them but a goal from a penalty by Maguire gave Monaghan hope but Tipperary held on for victory.
Scorers – Tipperary: A Moloney 0-10 (0-9f), C Kennedy 1-0, O O’Dwyer 0-1, A.R. Kennedy 0-1, R Howard 0-1, S Everard 0-1, R Daly 0-1. Monaghan: L Maguire 1-8 (1-0 pen, 6f), C Courtney 1-1, R Courtney 0-1, C McAnespie 0-1.
Tipperary: L Fitzpatrick; L Spillane, S Lambert (capt.), E Cronin; B Condon, A.R. Kennedy, M Curley; C Kennedy, A Moloney; A Fennessy, O O’Dwyer, S Everard; A McGuigan, R Howard, C Condon.
Subs: L Dillon for Spillane (45), R Daly for McGuigan (45), E Fitzpatrick for Fennessy (53).
Monaghan: B Tierney; N Kerr, S Boyd, H McSkane; A McAnespie, R Courtney, A McCarey; S Coyle, E McAnespie; C McBride, L Maguire, E Woods; C Courtney (capt.), M Atkinson, C McAnespie.
Subs: E Treanor for McBride (40), G McKenna for McCarey (55).
Referee: S Curley (Galway).Tweet