Armagh 2-14 Kerry 4-12
Armagh’s 2022 campaign ended prematurely on Saturday as Kerry denied the Ulster champs a spot in the last four.
It was also the Kingdom who dented Armagh’s promotion dreams earlier in the season when the sides clashed in the Division Two league final.
It was a case of goals win games and Kerry rattled the four times, twice in each half. Armagh raised two green flags of their own as well.
It was Kerry who drew first blood with a goal after three minutes. Armagh responded with points through Aimee Mackin (2) and Aoife Lennon.
Kerry kept the scoreboard ticking over while another Mackin brace closed the gap to two, 1-4 to 0-5.
Kerry added yet another point before Aoife McCoy tied the game with Armagh’s opening goal.
The Orchard stretched ahead with a trio of points from Mackin, Caroline O’Hanlon and Mackin again.
It wasn’t long until Kerry were back level with their second three-pointer, but Armagh once again replied emphatically.
Niamh Coleman shot home Armagh’s second goal to give Ronan Murphy’s ladies a 2-8 to 2-5 half time lead.
The sides traded scores at the start of the second period but a quickfire 1-3 from the Kingdom saw them drift ahead once more.
With three the difference, Armagh showed their battling spirit that we’re so used. They got back on terms thanks to Mackin (2) and Kelly Mallon.
But Kerry edged ahead again and held a one-point lead heading into the final few minutes of the match.
A goal 29 minutes into the second period opened up a gap that was simply too large to catch with the time on the clock.
Armagh tried to claw it back with Mackin nailing her 11th point but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to salvage something from the game.
It may be seen as a missed opportunity, and this one will hurt for a while, but as always, the ladies covered themselves in glory.
No doubt they’ll be back bigger, stronger and hungrier next season with the hopes of pushing on for All-Ireland glory.