Battling Armagh book semi spot

Armagh 1-16 Limerick 3-8

Armagh booked their spot in the 2021 All-Ireland semi-final after a brave, battling performance.

A superb second half saw the Orchard County through, led by the untouchable Ciara Donnelly.

The Armagh captain was on fire from start to finish and ended the game with a personal haul of 0-12 (9f).

Two quick fire Limerick goals rocked Armagh onto the back foot early in the game.

Donnelly split the posts for the opening point, before the opposition fired back with 2-2 on the trot.

Photo Credit: John Merry

Eimear Smyth helped Armagh’s star forward halt Limerick’s scoring spree, but the Treaty County weren’t for letting up.

Two more points stretched their lead to eight, while scores from Ciara Hill and Donnelly narrowed the deficit to five.

Limerick knocked over a further brace after the water break, with Hill and Donnelly matching the opposition once again.

Leanne Donnelly smashed the ball to the back of the net with the last play of the first half to make three the difference.

The Eglish midfielder’s three-pointer brought the score to 2-7 to 1-7 and it was all to play for in the second period.

Photo Credit: John Merry

Ciara Donnelly was superb at the beginning of the third quarter, hitting points from play, from frees and even kicking one.

Six unanswered scores from the Armagh captain fired Mattie Lennon’s in front by the second half water break.

Once again Limerick found their groove and found the net before striking another point to go one ahead.

Armagh were forced to dig deep if they wanted to retain their All-Ireland crown captured last season.

Ciara Hill drove over the levelling score and gave her side a fighting chance of reaching the last four.

Photo Credit: John Merry

It was up to Donnelly to send Armagh through, and the star forward made no mistake when provided with the opportunity.

the 2020 Player of the Year nailed two frees to send Armagh two up with time running out. The final few minutes were anything but easy, however.

The back line guarded their goals with everything they had, knowing Limerick needed a three-pointer to remain in the competition.

The girls in green and white tried but failed to register another score as Armagh’s defensive wall refused to yield.

The final whistle was met with a cheer of celebration as well as a sigh of relief as Mattie Lennon’s ladies continue to defend their crown.

Armagh Scorers: Ciara Donnelly 0-12 (9f), Leanne Donnelly 1-0, Ciara Hill 0-3, Eimear Smyth 0-1.

Photo Credit: John Merry