2024 TG4 All-Ireland Finals tickets

Monaghan and Armagh share the spoils in Group 2 opener

TG4 All-Ireland ladies SFC Group 2

Armagh 1-11

Monaghan 1-11


Blaithin Mackin launched a stunning comeback for Armagh with a goal eight minutes from time, but they missed a free with the last kick of the game to clinch victory against Monaghan in Clones.

Rosemary Courtney’s goal just before half-time looked to have been the difference between the sides, but after Mackin’s goaled, Caroline O’Halon missed the final kick, which gave both teams a share of the spoils.

The loss of Aimee Mackin from the full-forward line before throw-in was a big blow for Armagh and when their wides’ tally hit six by the 14thminute their absence was evident.

Armagh certainly had their chances in that opening quarter, but one of the late introductions into the team, Blaithin Mackin, looked very dangerous. She was denied in the first minute by a brilliant Linda Marin save, before the Shane O’Neill’s girl flashed a second goal chance inches wide of target.

The long ball into Mackin sprung the Monaghan defence on several occasions early on, but for some reason the abandoned that tactic for a while and the Armagh forwards struggled on the slow ball coming their way.

While Monaghan had been dominated early on, they proved to be far more efficient than their rivals and after Ellen McCarron got them up and running with a couple of points, Ciara McAnespie showed her class with four points from play by half-time.

O’Hanlon was running the show for Armagh from midfield, but Monaghan had Cora Courtney to do a similar job, and it was Cora Courtney who regularly hit the right pass into her inside line.

Some excellent defending from Sharon and Fiona Courtney denied Niamh Callan a shot on goal three minutes from the interval, and after Eimear McAnespie’s powerful run up the middle, Muireann Atkinson sent Rosemary Courtney in for the opening goal just before the break for a 1-6 to 0-4 lead at half-time.

Armagh were quickest out of the blocks in the second period and points from Lauren McConville, O’Hanlon and Blaithin Mackin trimmed the lead back to two points, before Hazel Kingham was sin-binned for Monaghan.

Rosemary Courtney found the target for Monaghan after 38 minutes to put a goal between the teams, but a couple of McCarron frees kept Monaghan in control.

Blaithin Mackin finally got the goal her target play deserved 11 minutes from time, when substitute Kelly Mallon picked her out with a long pass, but they were unable to kick on to the win.

Scorers – Armagh: B Mackin 1-1, C O’Hanlon 0-5 (3f, 0-1pen), F McKenna 0-2 (2f), L McConville 0-1, T Grimes 0-1, K Mallon 0-1 (1f)

Monaghan: E McCarron 0-5 (4f), C McAnespie 0-4, R Courtney 1-1 (1f), E McAnespie 0-1

Armagh: C O’Hare; C Morgan, C McCambridge, M Morriarty; T Grimes, M Tennyson, M Sheridan; S Reel, C O’Hanlon; M McGuinness, A McCoy, S Marley; L McConville, F McKenna, B Mackin.

Subs: K Mallon for McGuinness (37), R O’Reilly for Tennyson (60).

Monaghan: L Marin; S Courtney, F Courtney, J Fitzpatrick; A McAnespie, H Kingham, R McKenna; E McKenna, E McAnespie; R Courtney, M Atkinson, C Courtney; C McAnespie, N Callan, E McCarron.

Subs: E Woods for McKenna (39), J Drury for Atkinson (47).

Referee: Maggie Farrelly (Cavan).

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