Mayo march on to semi final

Armagh 1-12 Mayo 2-12

Mayo’s flying start gave them a massive boost as they led 0-6 to 0-1 after eight minutes of play but Armagh confidently fired themselves back into the contest and a Kelly Mallon wonder goal gave them the lead for the first time with 20 minutes left on the clock but Mayo improved to outscore the Orchard County 1-3 to 0-2 and see out the game.

Sarah Rowe and Grace Kelly pointed early on to give Mayo the advantage before Caroline O’Hanlon, who was positioned at full forward, cut the lead to one. Mayo were creating the better chances during the early exchanges but Armagh’s  defence held strong, causing Mayo forwards to over carry the ball on three occasions.

Mayo continued to drive forward and points from Sinead Cafferky, Niamh Kelly, Rachel Kearns and Clodagh McManamon gave the Westerners a five point advantage. Aoife McCoy steadied the ship for Armagh with their second point before Caroline O’Hanlon added another point to cut Mayo’s lead to three.

Mayo doubled their lead with their next attack when Maria Reilly broke through the Armagh defence to fire the ball to the net, the score now 1-6 to 0-3 with Reilly becoming Mayo’s 7th scorer of the game. O’Hanlon and Tiarna Grimes tagged on scores while the game could have been out of sight when the crossbar and the foot of Anna Carr denied Mayo two goals.

Sarah Rowe added to her earlier score to put Mayo five point ahead but Armagh cut the deficit to three with the last two scores of the half, a pointed free from Kelly Mallon followed by  a score from Catherine Marley to leave the half time score Armagh 0-7 Mayo 1-7. The tale of the first half was Mayo’s range of scorers with only Sarah Rowe scoring more than once while Armagh were over reliant on Caroline O’Hanlon to work scores.

Mayo began the second half like they did the first, hitting the first two points with Grace Kelly and Sarah Rowe again on target. O’Hanlon knocked over a further two frees to draw Armagh back into contention before Catherine Marley’s point and Kelly Mallon’s glorious goal saw Armagh take the lead. 

Mayo levelled the game with a point from Fiona Doherty before Sarah Rowe found the corner of the Armagh net with a rocket of a shot to give Mayo the advantage once again. Full back and player of the match Danielle Caldwell drove forward to put Mayo four ahead half way through the second period.

O’Hanlon did pull two back before substitute Natasha Gaughan converted a placed ball to hand Mayo their three point lead once again. Mayo played keep ball for the final few minutes of the game and saw out a 2-12 to 1-12 victory to book their spot in the semi final. Armagh will be disappointed but can hold their heads high as their commitment and focus meant they never gave up the fight.

Armagh: Anna Carr, Sarah Marley, Clodagh McCambridge, Caoimhe Morgan, Megan Sheridan, Niamh Marley, Colleen McKenna, Tiarna Grimes (0-1), Caroline O’Hanlon (0-7), Maebh Moriarty, Kelly Mallon (1-1), Catherine Marley (0-2), Niamh Reel, Blaithin Mackin, Aoife McCoy (0-1). Subs: R O’Reilly for N. Reel, A. Donaldson for N. Marley, N Murphy for K. Mallon.

Mayo: Aishling Tarpey, Nicola O’Malley, Danielle Caldwell (0-1), Eilis Roynane, Kathryn Sullivan, Ciara McManamon, Ciara Whyte, Clodagh McManamon (0-1), Emma Needham, Sinead Cafferky (0-1), Maria Reilly (1-0), Niamh Kelly (0-1), Sarah Rowe (1-3), Rachel Kearns (0-1), Grace Kelly (0-2). Subs: F Doherty (0-1) for M. Reilly, L Cafferky for R Kearns, A Gilroy for E. Needham, R. Kearns for G. Kelly, N Gaughan (0-1) for S. Rowe.