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2024 TG4 All-Ireland Finals tickets

Armagh 0-7 Tyrone 0-5

Suzuki National League Round 5 Replay

Armagh 0-7 Tyrone 0-5

Armagh will meet Cork in a rematch of the 2066 All Ireland Final in the league semi final on 6th April. The Orchard girls got the better of neighbours Tyrone at the second time of asking on a final scoreline of 0-7 to 0-5. The team showed a few positional changes from the previous meeting with Caroline O’Hanlon reverting to her favoured role at midfield, Aileen Matthews at full forward and Orla Murtagh at wing half forward.

Tyrone were on the attack from the start with Ann Dooher soloing through but her shot was caught in the wind and sailed wide for the first of16 Tyrone wides in the first half. Cathy Donnelly then forced a good save from Denise Hagan and Gemma Begley registered another wide from the resulting 45. Armagh soon settled and began to apply pressure of their own. Orla Murtagh collected possession on the wing and played a good ball into Caroline O’Hanlon who pointed for Armagh’s first score. Good work from the industrious Meabh Moriarty forced a foul and Aileen Matthews converted the free to put Armagh 2 ahead.

Tyrone attacked in waves but were forced to kick wide under great pressure from a tight Armagh defence which resulted in many of their shots drifting wide. Catriona McGahan showed leadership in a misfiring Tyrone forward line. She took a pass from Ann Dooher, turned and struck it over the bar before adding another straight from the kick out. A third McGahan point put Tyrone in front. Scores from Aileen Matthews and Meabh Moriarty and a further Tyrone point from Cathy Donnelly left the sides level 4 apiece at the end of a first half where defences were always on top.

Armagh showed their intent from the restart. Aileen Matthews won a great ball on the edge of the square from the throw up and pointed to put Armagh in front. They continued to press forward with Bronagh O’Donnell and Caoimhe Marley instigating attacks from the back but like Armagh, Tyrone’s fullback line were in no mood to concede scores. At the other end of the field Denise Hagan was forced to come off her line to deal with a Gemma Begley effort before wing half back Grainne Kelly saw her shot cleared for a 45.

Armagh’s 6th point came from a move which exemplified the steely determination present throughout the team. The full forward line became the first line of defence when relentless pressure forced possession back from Tyrone and Meabh Moriarty struck for a well deserved score. Sharon Duncan made her first appearance of the year and got involved straight away. Both sides launched attacks but neither defence was in the mood for conceding scores. Aileen Matthews and Gemma Begley traded frees leaving Armagh two in front. Tyrone launched a final attack and were awarded a free in but Begley mishit and Armagh hung on for an important 2 point victory.

Neither side will get carried away with this result but credit must go to both sets of players, especially defences who put in gutsy performances in difficult conditions. Armagh advance to the league semi finals to play Cork while in the other semi final Kerry will take on Galway.

Armagh: D Hagan C Marley, D Toal C McCann R O’Mahoney B O’Donnell L Brown M McGuinness C O’Hanlon O Murtagh M Moriarty S O’Hagan S Finnegan A Matthews M McAlinden

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