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Bord Gais Energy National League Round 2

Bord Gais Energy National League Round 2

Armagh 2-13 Donegal 3-08

Armagh Ladies overcame Donegal in an entertaining five goal thriller in Carrickcruppen yesterday to bag two very valuable league points and make it two wins from two. A strong first half performance gave Armagh the platform they needed to emerge victorious in a vey entertaining game that had equal amounts of high quality movement and slack unforced errors.

He opening exchanges were evenly matched; Laura Brown opened the scoring for Armagh and Mags McAlinden scored the first of her 1-5 total. Donegal replied with a Donna Martin point before McAlinden took a great ball from Aoife Lennon, sped past her marker and planted the ball in the back of the net. She added a point from the kick out but Donegal replied with a brace of points from Yvonne McMonagle and Ailish Ward. McAlinden drove her side on, extending the lead with a point following excellent work by Sharon Reel and Aoife Lennon. Donegal threatened but Ailish Ward's attack was snuffed out by Rebecca O'Reilly. Kelly Mallon burst through the middle for a score and then Caitlin Malone gave a perfect example of high fielding, catching the kick out and setting Sharon Reel up for a thundering point. Brave work from Emma Guy prevented a Donegal score and Armagh built their attack from the back, working their way up the field for a great finish by Marian McGuinness. The lead was further extended with points from Mags McAlinden and Derrynoose's Aoife Lennon but Donegal finished the half with two points from Donna Martin and Ailish Ward. The Tir Chonaill girls were reduced to fourteen players on the stroke of half time with Karen Guthrie sin binned for a sliding tackle as her side went in at the break trailing on a score line of 1-9 to 0-5.

Armagh started the second half with a bang. Sharon Reel linked up with Kelly Mallon who drilled her shot low to the bottom corner of Maureen O'Donnell's net. From then on though it was one way traffic. It almost seemed like it was Donegal who had the extra player. Yvonne McMonagle helped herself to a point before Ailish Ward sped through the defence to put the ball in the net. She added another from the penalty spot minutes later following some scrappy defending and with just a kick of the ball between the teams it was game on. The equaliser came when the reintroduced Guthrie robbed the ball and passed to Niamh Hegarty who made no mistake in putting the ball past Emma Guy. Donegal had wiped out Armagh's seven point advantage in a seven minute blitz. When it mattered most the Orchard girls stood up to be counted, they never allowed Donegal to get ahead.

Kelly Mallon put her side back in front but Donegal levelled with a Ward free kick. Mags McAlinden restored the lead again and Armagh's desire to win was exemplified when a tackle from the newly introduced Sinead McCoy forced Aoife McDonnell to concede possession. Armagh seemed to have the belief they would win despite being put under severe pressure, a lot of it caused by their own silly unforced mistakes. Aoife Lennon put Armagh ahead again before McAlinden finished her rout with a point. Meabh Moriarty's staunch defending forced Niamh Hegarty to settle for a point when she was trying for a goal but her point wasn't enough to take victory from Armagh who held on by the smallest margin leaving the score line 2-13 to 3-08 in their favour.

Armagh: E Guy, C Morgan D Toal, R O'Reilly, P Powell, M Moriarty, S McCleary, M McGuinness (0-1), C Malone, K Mallon(1-2), A Lennon (0-1), S Reel(0-1), L Brown(0-1), A Lennon (0-1) (Derrynoose) M McAlinden (1-6)
Subs: J Henderson for L Brown, S McCoy for C Malone

Donegal: M O'Donnell, G McCafferty, M Devenny, D Toner, C Hegarty, D Foley, T McCafferty, A McDonnell, M Herron, G Houston, N Hegarty, Y McMonagle, A Ward, K Guthrie, D Martin

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