Armagh played Waterford in Crumlin last Tuesday night, played in warm conditions as the sun seemed to get stronger in the evening as the Northern girls made their way south, Armagh needed to up their performance to become winners of their group to qualify for an All Ireland Semi Final on September 1st.
Armagh started the stronger with points coming Ciara Lennon and Caroline O Hanlon (2), once again the lethal full forward line of Armagh were hard to contain with Shauna O Hagan ably assisted by Kelly Mallon and Ciara Lennon. Midfielders Sinead Mc Cleary and Caroline O Hanlon were unstoppable at midfield, hoovering up the scraps from Waterford’s play and setting up attacks with powerful runs up the middle. The Orchard girls did take their foot of the pedal and let Waterford creep in for a slack goal, which let them go one up with fifteen mins to go in the first half.
Armagh then settled with Niamh Marley anchoring the defence at centre half back again with Niamh Henderson and Sharon Reel both playing superb games in their link play helping out both midfield and their full back line, again with Laura Brown in fine form marking the dangerous Shona Curran, Sarah Marley in the left wing again just getting in where she needed to be and winning ball thought to be impossible. In the other corner Clodagh Mc Cann played her role well as she was sucked out by Waterford’s Mairead Wall, Mc Cann then able to act as a sweeper in front of our half back line. Keeper Catherine Mc Alinden once again done well in nets and placed kick outs were superb as she got a knock just before throw in.
Up front our forward line were on fire again, the young Harps player Fionnuala Mc Kenna from our minor all Ireland team of 2011 once more gave the defence a torrid time. Experienced captain Mags Mc Alinden again had the task of facing Grainne Kennelly and to be fair got the better of her on occasions with Marian Mc Guinness then there to support and set up from the half forward line. Armagh never looked like losing this game though in the first fifteen minutes of the second half they did let up and gave away scoring chances from poor tackling, which led to Waterfords Michelle Ryan hitting 1-9 (1-2 from play) in the second half alone. Armagh were able to call on a strong bench and use subs Caitlin Malone, Mairead Tennyson, Aisling Hughes and Siobhan Mackle all who contributed to some great play in the last ten minutes when Armagh needed to focus and steady the ship. Armagh now play on September 1st in the semi final, opponents will not be known until next week when other group stages are wrapped up. All the team and management now know is they are one step closer and hard work from here on in is what its all about.
Final score Armagh 4-14 Waterford 2-12
Catherine Mc Alinden, Clodagh Mc Cann, Laura Brown, Sarah Marley, Sharon Reel, Niamh Marley, Niamh Henderson, Sinead Mc Cleary, Caroline O Hanlon(0-03), Marian Mc Guinness, Mags Mc Alinden (C)(2-01), Fionnuala Mc Kenna(0-02), Ciara Lennon(1-02), Shauna O Hagan(0-05) and Kelly Mallon(1-0). Subs used, Caitlin Malone, Aisling Hughes, Siobhan Mackle and Mairead Tennyson (0-01)