Armagh 2-13 Down 0-12

Ulster Championship Round 1

Armagh 2-13 Down 0-12

Armagh Ladies launched their 2010 Ulster championship campaign with a seven point victory over Down in Saval on Saturday. A bright start was the platform on which the Orchard side built their victory, racing into a 1-5 to 0-2 lead before Down really got to grips with the game.

Mags McAlinden opened the scoring with a free kick. The Orchard completely dominated possession, hitting four wides before Grainne McClean equalised for Down. Armagh had their most prolific spell of the match then, Maria O’Donnell got her name on the score sheet and minutes later Trojan work from Shauna O’Hagan set Aileen Matthews up for a beautiful point over her shoulder. Sarah Marley’s excellent running opened up another opportunity which Matthews duly converted and then Mags McAlinden had her effort tipped over the bar. Michaela Downey scythed through the Armagh defence setting up Natasha Lennon for a point to keep Down in touch but Armagh replied in style. Dervla Toal started the move in the heart of the Armagh defence, moving the ball up the field with Maria O’Donnell and Marian McGuinness before Mags McAlinden sprinted through the Down cover to bag a great goal.

Armagh extended their lead with a clever fisted point from Shauna O’Hagan but Down had finally got to grips with the challenge and began to eat into the Armagh lead. Michaela Downey was the catalyst for the fight back, finding space to shoot a great point despite being surrounded by orange shirts. Then Grainne McClean and Mags McAlinden traded points before a Down free kick narrowed the gap again to 1-7 to 0-5. Kyla Trainor was superbly blocked down by Caroline O’Hanlon and Armagh made clever use of the possession with a move involving seven Armagh players ending with an Aileen Matthews point. Michaela grabbed a quick score form Down leaving the half time socre line reading Armagh 1-08, Down 0-6.

The second half started with the same pace as the first with a Sinead Fegan point getting Down of the mark. Maria O’Donnell done very well to keep the ball in play, with Sharon Reel’s pin point pass allowing Shauna O’Hagan to bust through on goal only to be denied by an excellent save by Kate Farrell. O’Hagan converted at her second attempt however. Armagh breathed a sigh of relief minutes later as Down, with a goal at the mercy, opted for a point. Intense pressure from the Armagh defence forced errors and miss kicks from Down time and again and the Armagh forwards made the most of the possession. McAlinden pointed a free to extend her sides lead again and O’Hagan added another following brilliant work by Meabh Moriarty.

Aoife Lennon got involved straight away following her introduction, setting Maria O’Donnell up for a point. Michaela Downey tried to drag Down back into contention with a few top quality points but Aoife Lennon put the icing on the cake and the gloss on the score board with an audacious shot into the top right hand corner of the Down net.

Armagh meet Monaghan in the next stage of the round robin competition in Breffni Park next Saturday as a curtain raiser to Fermanagh and Cavan men. Monaghan earned a one point win over Tyrone in Casement Park on Sunday and will be a stern test however this victory has prepared Armagh nicely for a successful encounter against the Farney girls.

Armagh: C McAlinden, C Morgan, D Mallon, S McCoy, M Moriarty, L Brown, G McAlinden, C O’Hanlon, S Marley, M O’Donnell, S O’Hagan, M McGuinness, S Reel, A Matthews, M McAlinden Subs: S McCleary for M McGuinness, A Lennon for A Matthews, K Mallon for M O’Donnell

Sign up to our email newsletter


Partners & Supporters





See all LGFAClubs