Sports

Awesome Armagh make history in Dublin

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Awesome Armagh make history in Dublin thumbnailTHE three Armagh goalscorers in Sunday's impressive victory over Dublin at Abbotstown in NFL Division One.

AIMEE Mackin led the way with 1-7 as Armagh took a significant step towards securing their top flight status in the Lidl National League with a convincing victory over Dublin at Abbotstown.

Dublin ...3-5
Armagh ...3-12

This first away win against the Dubs was a well deserved reward for a superb performance full of fighting spirit and effective football from the heroic Orchard crew who never let up either in attack or defence.

Their wonderful work ethic was perfectly typified by the tireless Dromintee dynamo Aoife McCoy who repeatedly carried with great effect from deep defence and did brilliantly to score the first of three Armagh goals.

Crossmaglen's Lauren McConville gave the visitors the perfect start to the second half by deliciously chipping the Dublin keeper after midfielder Niamh Marley surged forward powerfully from the throw-in.

The third green flag was raised by teenage All Star Mackin, who had notched up a fair few wides in last month's loss to Mayo, but gave a trademark exhibition of audacious score-taking here.

Both ace markswoman Mackin and midfield legend Caroline O'Hanlon, who had a big game in spite of playing a British SuperLeague netball match in England the evening before, required treatment more than once during this physically punishing contest.

But the two Camlough girls soldiered on and the Orchard resolve never wavered in their quest to claim the three precious points on offer following three defeats from their first four matches which had left Caoimhe Morgan's girls precariously placed.

Dublin had a goal disallowed when it transpired they had 16 players on the field and although a legitimate effort followed soon after, it was Sean O'Kane's women who finished stronger, reeling off the last three scores to give them the emphatic margin of seven in the end.

Deputising for injured former captain Mairead Tennyson, Megan Sheridan really came of age as an Armagh player while young full back Clodagh McCambridge made a number of telling interventions as did the experienced Sharon Reel.

Armagh had plenty of unsung heroes, not least converted goalkeeper Caroline O'Hare who made a great save inside the first 60 seconds and another at the feet of Carla Rowe after 10 minutes while a brave block by corner back Sarah Marley also denied Dublin a goal.

Aimee Mackin got the game's opening point in the third minute but Dublin skipper Sinead Aherne, playing full forward, quickly levelled with a free and added two more points.

But McCoy made a great run from deep and showed superb persistence to drive the ball into the net at the second attempt, O'Hare's second great save of the afternoon keeping Armagh in front.

Fionnuala McKenna, substituted after only 20 minutes, couldn't convert with either of her attempted frees either side of a brilliant Aimee Mackin point from out on the right midway through the half and wing forward Hannah O'Neill then hit the net for Dublin.

Mackin and Aherne exchanged frees and Aimee added a point to reward superb approach play featuring the irrepressible McCoy, Niamh Marley, Coleman and O'Hanlon. She kicked a fourth point and O'Hanlon nudged Armagh ahead at the break with a free.

At the start of the second half, McConville dipped the ball under the crossbar before fighting hard to win a free a minute later which O'Hanlon converted and Mackin kicked another free.

Carla Rowe netted midway through the half to bring the Dubs within a goal of the Orchard tally but they almost immediately lost Lauren Magee to the sinbin for a hit on Niamh Marley and less than a minute later Aimee Mackin hammered home Armagh's advantage with a good goal.

She added another point to put seven between the teams and although Sarah Marley's superb block in the 50th minute stopped Dublin getting the goal back, Davey did net a minute later.

Aimee Mackin kicked another point with less than eight minutes left, O'Hanlon hit the post with a free and Aherne did likewise when Reel fouled her though in that case Davey followed up to point just before Magee returned from the sinbin.

It was still game on with only four in it but Armagh got the last three points, a Mackin free won by sub Catherine Marley after a sweeping attack, a left-footed O'Hanlon point from the left and then a long range effort from Aimee out on the same side of the field.

 

Dublin: C Trant; F Hudson, O Carey, A Kane; M Byrne, N Healy, L Caffrey; L Magee, M Lamb; H O'Neill (1-0), S Finnegan, C Rowe (1-0); R McDonnell, S Aherne (capt; 0-4, 2f), L Davey (1-1). Subs: D Murphy for Lamb, D McKenna for O'Neill (both 25 mins), S Woods for Kane (ht), S McCaffrey for McKenna (40), T O'Sullivan for Byrne (55).

 

Armagh: C O'Hare; C Morgan (capt), C McCambridge, S Marley; B Mackin, M Sheridan, S Reel; C O'Hanlon (0-3, 2f), N Marley; L McConville (1-0), A Mackin (1-9, 2f), N Coleman; F McKenna, S Finnegan, A McCoy (1-0). Subs: S Grey for McKenna (20 mins), C McKenna for Mackin (52), C Marley for Finnegan (53), E Lavery for McCoy (61).

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