Clann Eireann 1-14 Carrickcruppen 2-7
The two heavyweights of Armagh ladies football went head to head in the senior preliminary round clash on a sunny Friday evening in Lurgan. Clann Eireann march forward in their championship quest and will face Grange in the quarter final while Carrickcruppen have been knocked out of the senior championship at the first hurdle.
Defences were on top during the early stages of the opening half but Clann Eireann did break the deadlock with the first two scores while their defence stood firm and frustrated the Carrickcruppen attack. Megan McCann knocked over her sides 3rd point of the evening giving them an early advantage.
Caroline O’Hanlon was the stand out player for the visitors with her constant drive and movement and she opened her account on the 11th minute before hitting another to reduce the gap to one. Cruppen could have went ahead but two wides from placed balls saw Clann Eireann not only keep their lead but extend it when they hit the net during the dying moments of the first half.
This left the home side ahead at the interval 1-3 to 0-2 but Carrickcruppen’s defensive style of play was certainly working against them. Their defence stood strong throughout the 30 minutes but to the detriment of their forward division, as they kicked 10 first half wides which could have brought the half time score closer.
Cruppen were back in contention early in the second period with Megan Cinnamond striking twice from the dead ball while O’Hanlon added another neat score to level the game. Clann Eireann pressed forward however and soon led by two but they could have been further in front as they saw their goal chance squandered.
They did however get their goal after a poor kick out from the Carrickcruppen net minder found a Clann Eireann player who fired the ball to the net. The South Armagh team responded and the introduction of Shannon Sexton, just home from Australia, brought them right back into the game as she was hauled down for a penalty, which O’Hanlon easily dispatched with 14 minutes left to play.
With the game evenly balanced it was the home side who picked off the next three scores with Tiarna Grimes and Aoibhionn Henderson getting in on the action to see Clann Eireann go four ahead. Cruppen needed a lifeline and it was presented to them when Megan Cinnamonds great run saw her fouled with O’Hanlon again hitting the net from the spot.
This left the score Clann Eireann 1-10 Carrickcruppen 2-6 and the Lurgan team finished the stronger of the two, rattling off four unanswered points while Caroline O’Hanlon did pull one back deep into injury time but it wasn’t enough as Clann Eireann match on the next round, winning 1-14 to 2-7.
Clann Eireann: Catherine Lawless, Grainne Carville, Maebh McCambridge, Clodagh McCambridge, Siobhan McConville, Meabh Moriarty, Cait Towe, Tiarna Grimes, Niamh Coleman, Megan McCann, Niamh Henderson, Dearbhla Coleman, Sarah Henderson, Laura McAreavey.
Carrickcruppen: Anna Carr, Aileen Doran, Shannon O’Grady, Maeve Watters, Sharon Reel, Rebecca O’Reilly, Ciara Garvey, Marian McGuinness, Caroline O’Hanlon, Katie O’Hara, Megan Cinnamond, Orla Garvey, Grace Ferris, Caoimhe Murray, Sarah McCausland.
Sarsfields 2-9 Mullaghbawn 4-10
Three first half goals saw Mullaghbawn head to the Intermediate semi finals at the expense of Sarsfields who tried hard but couldn’t pull back the big lead built up by Mullaghbawn’s first half performance with Danielle Rafferty and Caroline O’Hare both hitting the net twice to confirm the victory.
Mullaghbawn missed a few early chances but it was Dearbhail Campbell who opened the scoring for the home side. Mullaghbawn could have raised the first green flag of the evening but for a great save from Julie-Ann McAlinden but minutes later Mullaghbawn did hit the net for the first time.
Caroline O’Hare split the posts while Dearbhail Campbell, who got the majority of Sarsfields scores and ended the game with 2-5, struck the net for her sides first goal. Mullaghbawn hit back with a goal of their own along with two more points, Danielle Rafferty this time the one to strike past the keeper.
Two more Sarsfields points brought them back into contention but another score from Rafferty saw Mullaghbawn head to the changing rooms at the break with a substantial eight lead, the score board reading Sarsfields 1-3 Mullaghbawn 3-5.
Sarsfields pulled one back at the beginning of the second period but could have narrowed the margin only for some wayward shooting. This theme continued as Sarsfields missed a further two goal opportunities Dearbhail Campbell did add another two points for Sarsfields.
The game was stopped due to an injury and a lengthy water break which allowed Mullaghbawn to regroup and they hit additional scores with a goal and a point. Sarsfields also hit the net once again through Dearbhail Campbell as well as raising another white flag with the last score of the game but the tie had already been decided as Mullaghbawn led 4-10 to 2-9 at the full time whistle.
Granemore also find themselves in the next round of the Intermediate Championship with a convincing win over travelling side Forkhill on Friday evening. Early goals saw the home side take a commanding lead which they would not give up and they led at the end of the game 4-22 to 2-13.