2024 TG4 All-Ireland Finals tickets

Armagh v Galway ladies senior semi-final report

Galway v Armagh





SHARON DUNCAN created history with the last kick of an extraordinary
TG4 All-Ireland ladies senior football semi-final at Hyde Park on
Saturday evening to fire Armagh into the decider next month.


In one of the most astounding final 30 seconds of any championship
game, Armagh beat Galway with the very last kick to secure a final
against reigning champions Cork.


Armagh, who were down to 14 players after having free taker Aileen
Matthews sin binned, were level with Galway as the game entered
the final 30 seconds when the Connacht champions broke up field.


They split the Armagh defence wide open and it looked like they
would get the winning point when substitute Barbara Hannon was put
straight through on goal.


But she hit the ball just wide and extra time seemed inevitable.
However, Armagh took a quick kick-out and with just over five seconds
left on the clock they won a free roughly 30 metres out and straight
in front of goal.


Although the clock ran out, the rules allowed the free to be taken
once it had been awarded beforehand.


But with their regular free taker sin binned it came down to Duncan
to take the kick. She struck the ball perfectly and before it had
sailed over the bar the Armagh subs and mentors were already running
onto the field in celebration.


Armagh have now created history by becoming the first team ever
to appear in an All-Ireland senior final only a year after they
won the junior title. It is also the first time the reigning junior
and senior champions will meet in the final.


The Ulster champions deserved to win on Saturday though as their
work rate over the hour was immense. They were stronger than Galway
and worked hard for each other – blocking, tackling and chasing


But Galway started the game brightly and led 1-8 to 1-6 at half-time.
Galway led

0-6 to 0-4 after 19 minutes but Armagh pushed forward to score
1-1 in the space of two minutes.


Full forward Patricia McAvoy registered the point before a long
ball in by Duncan led to confusion in the Galway defence and allowed
Maria O’Donnell slot home the opening goal of the game.


Duncan’s effort bounced high inside the square and up against
the Galway crossbar. As it dropped back down O’Donnell pounced
to score.


Gillian Joyce pulled a point back for Galway in the 24th minute
before Armagh almost scored a second goal, only for Una Carroll
to push Caroline O’Hanlon’s powerful shot over the crossbar.


Just one minute later Lisa Coohill unleashed a powerful drive past
Fionnuala McAtamney in the Armagh goal and Gillian Joyce added a
late free to give Galway a two point advantage at the break.


The second half produced less scores but far more drama. Armagh
got the better start on the resumption with points by Matthews and
Duncan bringing them level after 34 minutes.


The balance of power continued to shift though with points from
Niamh Duggan and Gillian Joyce reestablishing a two point lead for
Galway by the 40th minute.


Once more though Armagh came back with a free by Matthews and a
fantastic score by Mairead Tennyson levelled matters again.


Armagh were looking good at this stage and a Matthews free gave
them the lead in the 46th minute. Galway replied with a brace of
frees from Gillian Joyce to lead by the minimum in the 53rd minute.


But Armagh refused to lie down and Matthews scored a great point
from a difficult angle a minute later. The Killeavy girl was sin
binned soon after, seemingly handing the initiative to Galway.


But fate would have it that Armagh’s fairytale season was
not to end in Hyde Park and Duncan ensured there would be one more
chapter at least, scoring the winning point with the last kick of
the game.


ARMAGH: F McAtamney; C Marley, F Quinn, A Murphy; R O’Mahony,
B O’Donnell, S McCleary; A O’Donnell, C O’Hanlon
(0-1); M Tennyson (0-3), S Duncan (0-2, 1f), S O’Hagan; M O’Donnell
(1-0), P McAvoy (0-1), A Matthews (0-6, 4f). Subs: M McAlinden for
McAvoy (44 mins); O Murtagh for O’Hagan (58 mins)


GALWAY: U Carroll; M O’Connell, M Glynn, AM McDonough; C Cormican,
A Daly, E Flaherty; A Clarke, P Gleeson (0-1); L Coohill (1-0),
N Fahey, E Concannon; G Conneally, G Joyce (0-8, 6f), L Joyce (0-2).
Subs: N Duggan (0-1) for Conneally (27 mins); Conneally for Coohill
(41 mins); B Hannon for Conneally (50 mins)


REFEREE: P Daly (Westmeath)


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