Report: Late blitz sees Armagh reach TG4 Ulster SFC final

TG4 Ulster ladies SFC semi-final

Armagh 2-14

Cavan 1-14

By Richard Bullick

Armagh won their first TG4 Ulster championship match since claiming the Ulster title in 2014, and reached this season’s final at the expense of Cavan, who are managed by ex-Armagh manager James Daly.
Two goals in the space of a minute with Cavan down to 14 players proved crucial in a pulsating TG4 Ulster semi-final in the Inniskeen sunshine.
Kelly Mallon and Aimee Mackin hit the net in quick succession late on and the Orchard crew consolidated strongly to leave Cavan, who kicked the last three scores of the evening, with too much to do at the end.
It had looked like Armagh might come to rue several missed goal chances in the opening period as they went in at the break trailing by four points.
But a flying start to the second half saw the Orchard outfit score five times in the first six minutes to go ahead again and they later took full advantage of a Cavan sin-binning.
Corner back Joanne Moore was shown yellow for a blatant foul on Armagh’s magnificent midfielder Caroline O’Hanlon, who ran the show superbly for her team.
Although Cavan actually registered the next two scores, they were six behind when the bin was up and ferociously committed Armagh held out in a tense finale.
Avoiding first division sides Donegal and Monaghan made this a good draw on paper for both Armagh and Cavan, with the prize of a place in the Ulster showpiece at stake.
This was expected to be a cracking contest between teams which drew their league game 2-14 apiece in February, with the fact Daly is now Breffni boss adding an extra edge.
These sides had each had their promotion hopes ended in frustrating fashion by Tipperary, giving them even more motivation to bounce back with productive championship campaigns.
Aimee Mackin top-scored for Armagh for the ninth time in nine games this season but only with a relatively modest 1-4 as Mallon, O’Hanlon, Lauren McConville and Tiarna Grimes all chipped in.
From young Grimes and another teenager returning from injury, substitute Blaithin Mackin, to veteran captain Caoimhe Morgan, Armagh had significant contributions all over the field.
Aisling Maguire led the way with six points for Cavan, half from frees, while impressive midfielder Donna English scored four times from play.

Scorers – Armagh: A Mackin 1-4; K Mallon 1-2 (1f); C O’Hanlon 0-4 (2f); T Grimes, L McConville 0-2 each. Cavan: A Maguire 0-6 (3f); D English 0-4; B Farrelly-McGee 1-0; B Sheridan, A Sheridan 0-2 each.

Armagh: C O’Hare; S Marley, C Morgan (capt), S Reel; M Tennyson, T Grimes, M McGuinness; C McCambridge, C O’Hanlon; M Moriarty, F McKenna, L McConville, A Mackin, A McCoy, K Mallon.  Subs: B Mackin for McKenna (39), S Grey for McGuinness (53).

Cavan: E Baugh; R Doonan, L Fitzpatrick, J Moore; S Greene (capt), N Byrd, S O’Sullivan; C Dolan, D English; G McGlade, B Sheridan, B Farrelly-McGee; A Sheridan, A Maguire, C Smith.  Subs: S McKenna for Smith (47), A Comyn for Farrelly-McGee (52), A O’Reilly for B Sheridan (56).

Referee: Gavin Corrigan (Down).

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