Rowe's 3-4 inspires Mayo past Monaghan and into semi after Swinford thriller

Mayo 6-11 Monaghan 3-11

By Aiden Henry

Mayo booked their place in the National League Division 1 semi-finals following their victory over Monaghan in their final group game played in Amenity Park, Swinford, today.

Once again it was their inside forward line of Niamh Kelly, Sarah Rowe and Grace Kelly who caused the Monaghan defence the most problems with the trio accounting for 4-8 of their side’s final tally with Rowe the real star after she bagged 3-4.

But despite Mayo’s three-goal winning margin it was not near as easy for them as Monaghan pushed them very hard up to the closing moments. Indeed, two late goals from substitutes Sarah Mulvihill and Rebecca Waldron put a gloss on this Mayo victory.

After a rip-roaring opening half Mayo led by 3-5 to 1-5 at the interval. Rowe, with two, and Niamh Kelly were their goals scorers. But Monaghan, driven on by the brilliant Cora Courtney, and with the exceptional Ciara McAnespie causing the Mayo defence of sorts of trouble, kept very much touch. It was Cora Courney’s goal in the 30th minute which brought them back into contention before they went for the interval break.

In the second half it was end-to-end stuff from start to finish with both sides recording some delightful scores. A third Rowe goal for Mayo from the penalty spot just four minutes after the resumption didn’t stop Monaghan as they kept coming back.

With 10 minutes remaining they were within striking distance after midfielder Muireann Atkinson netted twice. But Mayo finished strongly to get the victory which gained them a spot in the last four of the league.

Scorers for Mayo – S Rowe 3-4 (1pen, 4f), N Kelly 1-1, G Kelly 0-3 (2f), S Mulvihill 1-0, R Waldron 1-0, S Cafferky, F Doherty and O Conlon 0-1 each.

Scorers for Monaghan – M Atkinson 2-0, C Courtney 1-2 (1f), E McCarron 0-4 (4f), R Courtney 0-2, C McAnespie 0-2, S Coyle 0-1.

Mayo: S Murphy; R Flynn, S Tierney, S Ludeden; D Caldwell, O Conlon, D Hughes; C McManamon, T O’Connor; F Mchale, F Doherty, S Cafferky; N Kelly, S Rowe, G Kelly.

Subs – S Larkin for Flynn (H/T), R Waldron for O’Connor (39), S Howley for Doherty (39), K Sullivan for Caldwell (41), S. Mulvihill for Ludden (45), N Moran for Conlon (54), A Dowling for G Kelly (55).

Monaghan:

L Martin; R McKenna, H Kingham, J Fitzpatrick; A McAnespie, S Courtney, S Coyle; C Courtney, M Aithinson; E McAnespie, G McKenna, C McDermott; R Courtney, E McCarron, C McAnespie.

Subs – E Corrigan for McKenna (33), F Courtney for McDermott (36), B Ward for McKenna (41), A McAnespie for Martin (45), T Scott for Ward (54).

Referee: M. Farrelly (Cavan)

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