Mission accomplished – semi spot secured

Armagh 4-12 Mayo 1-16

The Armagh Ladies team have secured their place in the All-Ireland semi-finals for the first time since 2015.

Ronan Murphy’s team will now face the challenge of Dublin in the last four after impressively seeing off Mayo.

This was tight and tense throughout with both sides landing huge blows on the other, and although Armagh were in front at the break, they were behind for long periods.

Aimee Mackin will grab all the headlines and receive all the plaudits, and deserving so, but this was a team effort.

The fleet-footed corner forward was awesome from start to finish and deserving picked up the Player of the Match award.

The sides exchanged score early on with Mackin hitting 0-3 with her first three touches to match Mayo’s score.

Kelly Mallon fired Armagh into the lead with a fabulous goal, after turning inside her marker and riffling the ball to the bottom corner.

Mayo replied superbly and rattled off the next seven points, with Grace Kelly and Deirdre Doherty causing serious headaches.

All the Mayo hard work was soon undone as Armagh started to turn on the style up front, with the Mackin sisters coming to the fore.

Kelly Mallon slotted over her first score of the evening with a pointed free after Aoife McCoy’s attack had been illegally halted.

Aimee Mackin then split the posts with a quality, outside of the bottom effort that will go down as one of the points of the year.

Blaithin Mackin then got in on the action and her brilliant diagonal ball found her sister, who volleyed to the net after initially spilling possession.

Blaithin knocked one over herself after a beautiful dummy solo and also won a free that Aimee slotted over to leave the half time score 2-7 to 0-11.

Mayo got off the mark in the second period through substitute Mary McHale to bring the margin back to a single point.

Armagh drove forward once again however and when Mallon fed through Aimee Mackin, her one-on-one effort was only going to have one result.

To Mayo’s credit, they continued to battle and McHale’s second was followed by a super Fiona Doherty goal to level the game 3-7 to 1-13.

Aimee Mackin (free) and Sarah Rowe traded scores before Kelly Mallon and Aoife McCoy edged Armagh ahead once more.

A hugely impressive turnover by full back Clodagh McCambridge started another attack that ended with Mallon’s third point and more importantly offered Armagh some breathing space.

The Westerners refused to give up and points from Deirdre and Fiona Doherty minimised the margin to just one.

Armagh finished brilliantly however, rattling off 1-1 in the final few minutes to put the game beyond doubt.

Mackin of course landed the point that extended the Orchard Counties lead before Catherine Marley rippled the net with the final score of the game.

Armagh now march on to the last four where they will meet Dublin on Saturday the 28th of November.

Armagh: Anna Carr, Sarah Marley, Clodagh McCambridge, Shauna Grey, Tiarnan Grimes, Blaithin Mackin (0-1), Grace Ferguson, Niamh Coleman, Aveen Donaldson, Catherine Marley (1-0), Aoife McCoy (0-1), Aimee Mackin (2-7 1f), Caroline O’Hanlon, Kelly Mallon (1-3 2f), Eve Lavery. Subs: Tiarnan McVeigh for S. Grey