Armagh 1-17 Donegal 0-10

Bord Gais Energy National League

Round 2

Armagh 1-17 Donegal 0-10

Armagh got their first win of the 2009 campaign when they ran out 1-17 to 0-10 winners against Donegal at Castelfinn on Sunday last. The team was somewhat changed from that which faced Kerry with Kelly Mallon, Mairead Tennyson and Caroline O’Hanlon handed starting roles.There was little between the teams early on with points from Shauna O’Hagan (2) and Mags McAlinden cancelling scores from Niamh Hegarty and Aoife McDonnell. Armagh found their feet quickly though and when Caroline O’Hanlon and Dervla Toal put them ahead 5-3, it was a lead they never relinquished. The hard work from Laura Brown and Mairead Tennyson was creating plenty of opportunities for the forwards and the surging runs by Sinead McCleary, Meabh Moriarty and Clodagh McCann from the back line cut Donegal open. This new found attack mindedness paid off when scores from Kelly Mallon, Meabh Moriarty and Mags McAlinden gave them an 8-5 half time lead.

In the second half Armagh stepped up the performance another gear and Donegal just couldn’t match it. Points from McAlinden (2), Meabh Moriarty and Laura Brown gave them a seven point cushion. Donegal fought back with scores from Niamh Hegarty and a great effort from Nora Stapleton but that just spurred Armagh on to step it up again.

Shauna O’Hagan made no mistake finding the net following an incisive pass from Dervla Toal and further scores from Mc Alinden, Caroline O’Hanlon and substitute Caoimhe Murray stretched Armagh’s lead. Donegal replied with points from Grainne McCafferty and Ciara Hegarty but the Armagh defence was watertight and they couldn’t make any breakthrough. It left the final score of Armagh 1-17, Donegal 0-10.

Although the Orchard girls still have work to do they will have been greatly encouraged by this showing. It was a much more fluid and confident performance. The half backs and half forwards linked very well together and whenever scoring opportunities presented themselves Armagh were able to take them. Manager Gregory McGonigle gave more players the chance to stake a claim for a permanent starting jersey and was pleased with the team performance. Next weekend Armagh takes on Laois who suffered defeat to Tyrone yesterday.

Armagh: D Hagan, S McCoy, C McCann, C Marley, G McAlinden, M Moriarty (1) S McCleary(1), C Malone D Toal (1) L Brown (1) C O’Hanlon (2) M Tennyson, S O’Hagan( 1-3) K Mallon(1) M McAlinden (0-6)
Subs: M O’Donnell for C Malone, C McDaid for M Tennyson, C Murray(0-1) for K Mallon

Donegal: R McCafferty, T McCafferty, L O’Sullivan, M Byrne, C Hegarty(0-1), D Toner, D Foley, A McDonnell (0-2), N Stapleton (0-1), R Crawford, N Hegarty (0-5), G McCafferty (0-1), C McMenamin, K Penrose, R Friel

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