Armagh Harps 0-12 Carrickcruppen 0-2
County Champions Armagh Harps began their 2021 season with a win as they bested visitors Carrickcruppen on Saturday evening.
Neither team boasted full strength squads, with household names such as Kelly Mallon and Caroline O’Hanlon not featuring. Still, there was plenty of quality on display.
Fionnuala McKenna was one of the best performers on the night and the Harps midfielder got her side off the mark with two points inside the opening five minutes.
Cruppen replied through their full-forward to half the deficit, but couldn’t register another score during the opening period.
Former Galway player and two-time All-Star Sinead Burke controlled the centre of the defence for the home team and helped build numerous attacks as well.
Emily Druse bombed up and down the wing and got her deserved reward with two points in quick succession to stretch the lead.
Casey Mullan and Fionnuala McKenna tagged on a point each to leave Joe Feeney’s side five up at the break, 0-6 to 0-1.
The home team started the brighter of the two once again with Siobhan Feeney (free) and McKenna raising white flags.
Carrickcruppen claimed their second of the evening as the Harps continued to pull further ahead.
Two more McKenna points were matched by Eimear O’Kane and Feeney to see the Harps ten points up when the final whistle sounded.
Shane O’Neill’s 4-21 Crossmaglen 1-7
Shane O’Neill’s got off to a flyer on Saturday evening as they put Crossmaglen to the sword with an outstanding display.
It was no surprise that Player of the Year Aimee Mackin got the game up and running with a goal inside the opening minute.
Sinead McDonnell split the posts before the impressive Rachel McCabe found the back of the net to put her side firmly in control.
Great work from Moya Feehan found McCabe in space and the 16-year-old was on hand to fire over another great score.
Crossmaglen did reply with a pointed free just before the first water-break, but it was cancelled out on the restart with scores from Ciara Jones and McCabe.
The Rangers knocked over another from the dead ball, but it was all Shane O’Neill’s, who rallied off 1-4 without reply.
Aimee Mackin rattled the goal once again, tagging on a further three points while McCabe also found the target with another accurate effort.
The visitors tried their best to fight back and did so with a goal and a point of their own, but Mackin had the final say of the half to see Shane’s up 3-9 to 1-3 at the break.
Shane O’Neill’s began the second half with a strong breeze and took full advantage, scoring six points without reply in the opening ten minutes.
Mackin fired over four with Rachel McCabe and Ciara Jones helping to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
The sides traded scores just before the water-break while the Camlough side hit their fourth goal of the evening on the resumption, Rachel McCabe nabbing her second.
McCabe followed it up with a well taken point while Mackin (2) and substitute Niamh Carragher also raised white flags.
Cross scored a late point, but it was Rachel McCabe who ended proceedings, bringing her tally to 2-5.
Dromahill 3-14 Grange 4-10
It was a goal-fest in Dromintee on Saturday night as Dromahill gained the maximum points on offer in a dramatic finale.
The homes side trailed by six at the half-time interval, but three goals after the restart helped get their season off to a winning start.
The teams swapped scores early on before a brilliant block from Dervla Mallon launched an attack that ended with a Grange goal through Aideen Toal.
Siobhan Mackle, Colleen McKenna and Hannah Duffy helped build momentum for the visitors before Duffy struck her sides second goal.
Aideen Toal, Ciara Rafferty and Mackle all added scores while keeper Claire McGleenan pulled off a great save to deny Dromahill a comeback score.
The home side dominated the remaining minutes of the half however, rattling off 1-3 to bring them back in contention. Grange ahead 2-7 to 1-4 at the break.
Dromahill played with a favourable wind at their backs in the second period and made their advantage count straight away, hitting six of the seven points scored in the third quarter.
The hosts pushed on after the water break with 1-3 on the bounce while Grange tried to halt the stampede with a Kerri Curran score.
Dromahill notched on another 1-1 as they looked to secure the victory, but the visiting side were far from finished.
Goals from Hannah Duffy and Aideen Toal breathed some life into the trailing team, and they could have grabbed a levelling score but their last effort just drifted wide of the upright.
St Peter’s got their 2021 season up and running with a tremendous 20-point win in their all-Lurgan opener on Saturday evening.
The women in black and white hosted neighbours St Paul’s and dominated proceedings from start to finish.
Six goals insured St Peter’s took home the three points on offer, as they won handsomely in the end, 6-9 to 1-4.
Wolfe Tones also had a good win at the weekend, picking up three points on the road in the first game of the year.
Hosts Thomas Davis rattled home three goals, but it wasn’t enough to get something from the game, with the Tones earning a 1-16 to 3-4 triumph.
Keady returned to ladies action on Saturday evening and faced an away trip to Tir na nOg in the first round.
The Portadown side were the best team on the night and deservingly saw out a 2-11 to 1-5 victory.
Pearse Ogs host Clonmore Naomh Labhaoise tonight in the final round one tie in Division Four!