Armagh ladies played Waterford in the first round of the All Ireland series in Killeavy, entering the competition as Ulster Champions from last week, and with only a weeks rest, a few girls carrying knocks and injuries from the game against Cavan, missing influential players Armagh gave it their all and left Killeavy with shared points.
Armagh from the off set were caught on the back foot when Waterford moved full forward Michelle Ryan out to midfield for the throw in, who then passed to Emer Fennell in turn she made a surging run straight through the Armagh defence and what looked like a ball going wide hit the post and rebounded back past keeper Catherine Mc Alinden. Armagh responded well and hit three great points from Shauna O Hagan and captin Mags Mac Alinden (0-2). Armagh ladies seemed to gain the upper hand at this stage with Sinead Mc Cleary and Sharon Reel controlling midfield although Waterford did squeeze through our defence responding with another goal from Elaine Powers again followed up with two quick points in succession from Michelle Ryan who moved back into the full forward position. With Waterford constantly changing positions Armagh seemed to lose their way for a short period of play although we did gain alot of possession but were uneasy in front of the posts. Clann Eireann duo Mags Mc Alinden and Shauna O Hagan then started to click with Ciara Lennon and Niamh Henderson setting up scores with great runs at the Waterford defence, O Hagan was on fire catching everything sent her way and put four more scores on the board with Mags Mc Alinden converting a free also. Waterford were slow to respond but when they travelled up the field they looked dangerous with Shona Curran and Michelle Mc Grath attacking from wing half positions putting three points over between them. A great run of play for Armagh from Laura Brown to Sarah Marley led the ball up to sister Niamh who made a strong run through the middle sending the high ball into Kelly Mallon who was unlucky not to hit the net but managed to put it over the bar. Siobhan Mackle then followed this point up with a great run herself up the right wing and pitching in with a great point. With Armagh now taking the upper hand, a lapse in concentration and also a questionable legal free let Waterford back in with a goal coming in the dying minutes of the first half. Armagh 0-10 Waterford 3-04.
Armagh were the better footballing team all round but just needed to convert their possession in the second half, Ciara Lennon opened the scoring for Armagh after being moved into the full forward line along side O Hagan, and the duo work well together with Lennon finishing the half with two points. Again the second half produced a lot of action with Waterford’s goalkeeper Aimee Jordan sin binned for a dissent, and Armagh had the advantage with one extra player for the next ten minutes although they didnt really captalise on this. The defence stepped up a gear with Clodagh Mc Cann, Brown and Sarah Marley holding tight in the backline, keeping the Waterford girls out from their goal mouth, Michelle Ryan did hit a couple of points with half forward Shona Curran also adding to the Waterford score line. Armagh had to grind out the scores in the last ten minutes and their chance came to come within a point when Waterfords half back Grainne Kennelly was red carded after a frontal charge on Armagh’s Siobhan Mackle, the penalty was sucesffluly converted by captain Mags Mc Alinden this was now the dying minutes of the game and Armagh were unlucky not to have more on the score board at this stage with both Shauna O Hagan and Sharon Reel hitting the woodwork, from nowhere Armagh then found the point they required to level the game after winning the Waterford kick out Lennon led to O Hagan who made no mistakes and sent the ball over the bar to finish out the game. Armagh now play Down on Saturday 14th July with the venue to be confirmed. Final score Armagh 1-16 Waterford 3-10
Armagh Catherine Mc Alinden, Clodagh Mc Cann, Laura Brown, Sarah Marley, Fionnuala Mc Kenna, Niamh Marley, Niamh Henderson, Sharon Reel, Sinead Mc Cleary, Siobhan Mackle (0-1), Mags Mc Alinden (1-7) 1-0 Pen 0-4 (f), Aisling Hughes, Ciara Lennon, Shauna O Hagan and Kelly Mallon, subs used : Marian Mc Guinness, subs Katie Daly, Aveen Donaldson, Cailin Duffy, Marie Luckie, Sinead Mc Parland, Danielle Morgan, Shannen O Grady, Caroline O Hare, Frances Quinn and Sinead Mc Coy.