ARMAGH 1-14 WATERFORD 1-5
ARMAGH RAN OUT comfortable winners of the Tesco Homegrown Division 3 ladies football league final in Parnell Park, doing most of the damage in a 20 minute spell either of half-time to clinch promotion.
The orchard county hit an unanswered 1-3 in the eight minutes before the break, and then reeled off four points early in the second half to Waterford.
The game finished 13-a-side after a flurry of cards in the last ten minutes.
Armagh full-forward Kelly Mallon received a very harsh straight red after 53 minutes, with team-mate Sarah Marley and Waterford duo Shona Curran and Grainne Kenneally all going into the sin bin.
Waterford were not expected to push Armagh so hard and will feel they could have got even closer only for their eight first-half wides and a missed penalty by Michelle Ryan in the 45th minute.
After a tentative start by both teams, Michelle Ryan’s free gave Waterford the opening score in the tenth minute.
Armagh did not live up to billing as hot favourites but they did land three quick-fire points in a four minute spell through Lauren McConville, Mags McAlinden and Fionnuala McKenna’s free.
Liz Devine got Waterford’s first and only point from play of the first half in the 17th minute to reduce the deficit to 0-3 to 0-2.
Waterford certainly had their chances, with Grainne Kenneally and Aileen Wall influential, and they were made to regret those misses when Armagh reeled off an unanswered 1-3 before half-time.
Kelly Mallon pointed when Caroline O’Hanlon kicked a ’45′ short, and McKenna added a second point to put clear daylight between the teams.
Then came a crucial few minutes, when Waterford spurned a great goal chance.
Wall’s passed inside to substitute Hannah Landers but her goal-bound shot was brilliantly blocked by fullback Caoimhe Morgan. The rebound fell loose to Shona Curran who inexplicably hit her shot wide of a gaping net.
Armagh made them pay with a Lauren McConville goal in the 29th minute. She dispossessed Mary Foley and played a one-two with McAlinden before blasting the ball high into the roof of the net.
Substitute Siobhan Mackle tagged on another point to give Armagh a 1-6 to 0-2 lead which flattered them.
McConville, McKenna (two) and Aoife McCoy helped put Armagh 1-10 to 0-3 ahead, but Waterford responded with a goal from substitute Shauna Dunphy.
Waterford had the initiative and Armagh were struggling to put the game to bed, hitting seven wides in the second half. However Waterford’s challenge faded after Ryan’s missed penalty as Armagh went one better than last year by clinching the Division 3 title.
Scorers for Armagh: L McConville 1-2, F McKenna 0-5 (2f), S Mackle 0-3, K Mallon 0-2, M McAlinden, A McCoy 0-1 each.
Scorers for Waterford: S Dunphy 1-0, M Ryan 0-2 (2f), S Curran, H Landers, L Devine 0-1 each.
ARMAGH: K Daly; M Tennyson, C Morgan, S Marley; M McGuinness, N Marley, S Reel; C Malone, C O’Hanlon (capt); N Henderson, F McKenna, A McCoy; L McConville, K Mallon, M McAlinden
Subs: S Mackle for Malone (28), S Grey for McGuinness (38), L Kenny for McAlinden (45)
WATERFORD: A Jordan; N Dunphy, G Enright, M Foley; S Curran, K McGrath, G Kenneally; M McGrath (capt), E Power; L Wall, M Ryan, M Wall; A Wall, M Revins, L Devine
Subs: H Landers for Revins (19), S Dunphy for Devine (36)
Ref: M Doherty (Wexford)
Report is provided by the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA).