ARMAGH 5-15 LONDON 1-5
ARMAGH Ladies had a convincing win over London as they took a step nearer an All-Ireland semi-final place.
London travelled to Killeavy to take on Armagh in the last round of the qualifier games on Saturday with Armagh starting as favourites after defeating Down and levelling with Waterford.
They needed to win this game to have the chance of qualifying for the All-Ireland play offs. The game went as the bookies would have backed it, but Armagh are focused on bigger rewards down the line after this convincing win against London.
From the throw in Armagh started brightly with a combined hat-trick of goals from the full forward line of Caitlin Malone, Kelly Mallon and top scorer on the day Shauna O’Hagan.
Captain Mags McAlinden led by example at half forward, setting up scores and finishing the game with 0-3 of her own. She was flanked by Aisling Hughes and Marian McGuinness who also chipped in with a point each.
Armagh powered on to finish the game as they started, Sinead Mc Cleary and Caroline O’Hanlon were controlling midfield with the latter finishing with 0-2 and McCleary making her usual powerful runs at defence.
Not under as much pressure as usual keeper Catherine McAlinden kept her defence under control, pulling off a great save from London’s Niamh Fahey, a former Galway All Star.
It was a bad end to London’s championship as they could find no way through the Armagh defence with full back Clodagh McCann stopping all efforts from passing her alongside great support play from Sarah Marley and Cailin Duffy.
A lot of play came from the Armagh half back line with Fionnuala McKenna and Sharon Reel making surging runs on both sides of the field with Niamh Marley anchoring the line from the centre half position.
With Armagh dominating the play in most areas of the field substitutes Caroline O’Hare, Sinead McParland, Marie Luckie and Rebecca O’Reilly were introduced in the second half and all made crucial impacts on the game.
Armagh now meet Waterford in a top of the table play off to qualify for an All Ireland semi-final place. A huge effort will be required from the full panel to overcome the ladies from the South East to become one step closer to the big prize in this Intermediate competition.
Team: Catherine McAlinden, Cailin Duffy, Clodagh McCann, Sarah Marley, Fionnuala McKenna, Niamh Marley, Sharon Reel, Sinead McCleary, Caroline O’Hanlon (0-2), Marian McGuinness (0-1), Mags McAlinden (c) (0-3), Aisling Hughes (0-1), Caitlin Malone (1-0), Shauna O’Hagan (2-06), Kelly Mallon (2-01). Subs used: Caroline O’Hare (0-1), Sinead McParland (0-1) Marie Luckie, Rebecca O Reilly.