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Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 20 January 2021

Armagh and Dublin book their places in All-Ireland Ladies SFC semi-finals

Clones played host to a double-header this afternoon.

Dublin 1-13

Monaghan 0-13

DUBLIN HELD OFF a stiff challenge from Monaghan to prevail in their TG4 All-Ireland Ladies SFC quarter-final at St Tiernach’s Park in Clones this afternoon.

Leading by six points, 1-7 to 0-4, at half-time, last year’s beaten All-Ireland finalists saw that advantage shrink to just two by the 43rd minute as Monaghan came out for the second period with renewed vigour.

Niamh McEvoy with Ciara McDermot Dublin's Niamh McEvoy lays the ball off as Monaghan's Ciara McDermot challenges. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Dublin settled again, however, with points from Amy Connolly, Lyndsey Davey, Niamh McEvoy and Hannah Noonan to give themselves breathing space once more. To their credit, Monaghan never gave in and Caitríona McConnell and Cora Courtney helped to bring them back to within two again as the game entered its final minute. Dublin won the resultant kickout, though, with the ball worked to inspirational captain Davey, whose perfect pass allowed Niamh Collins to get the clinching score.

While Monaghan had home advantage, in Dublin’s favour was the fact that their manager Gregory McGonigle was previously in charge of the Farney Women and the visitors scorched into a 0-4 to 0-0 lead in the opening quarter. Carla Rowe – named at wing-back but moved into attack as part of pre-throw-in alterations, kicked two good frees with Davey and Connolly also on target.

Bar a Courtney goal chance which was well saved by Ciara Trant, Monaghan struggled to create opportunities early on but got going through points from McConnell and Ellen McCarron.

Carla Rowe with Eileen McElroy Dublin's Carla Rowe scored 1-02 in a tough and tight contest in Clones. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Dublin were firmly in the groove, however, and they pushed on again. Connolly and Nicole Owens made it 0-6 to 0-2 and, while McConnell replied with a long-range point for Monaghan, Rowe then struck for a goal after Davey’s run and pass.

That left it 1-6 to 0-3 and, though McConnell replied with a free, just before half-time Monaghan’s hopes suffered a blow as they lost attacker Caoimhe Mohan to a nasty injury. Noelle Healy fisted a late point to give Dublin a 1-7 to 0-4 advantage but, upon the resumption, the Ulster side were revitalised had scores from Fiona Lafferty, Courtney (two) and McConnell.

At the other end, Martin denied Kim Flood, but Dublin finally ended their scoring drought when Niamh McEvoy pointed and that set them going once more. Monaghan battled hard, but Dublin had enough in them to move on to a semi-final meeting with Armagh.

Scorers for Dublin: C Rowe 1-2, L Davey 0-3, A Connolly 0-3 (0-1f), N Owens, N McEvoy, H Noonan, N Healy, N Collins 0-1 each.

Scorers for Monaghan: C McConnell 0-8 (0-3f), E McCarron, C Courtney 0-2 each, F Lafferty 0-1.

Dublin: C Trant; O Carey, M Ní Scanaill, F Hudson; C Barrett, S Finnegan, S Furlong; M Lamb, S Goldrick; N Healy, N Owens, C Rowe; A Connolly, L Davey, N McEvoy.

Subs: K Flood for Owens (39), H Noonan for Lamb (47), S McCaffrey for Connolly (52), L Collins for Hudson, N Collins for Barrett (both 55).

Monaghan: L Martin; C McDermott, S Courtney, G McNally; A McAnespie, N Fahy, E McAnespie; E McElroy, F Lafferty; C Courtney, L McEnaney, C Mohan; C McAnespie, E McCarron, C McConnell.

Subs: T Scott for Mohan (30), A Casey for McEnaney (38), R McKenna for Lafferty (50).

Referee: S Joy (Kerry).

Sinead McCleary celebrates the final whistle Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Armagh 2-13

Donegal 2-11

Meanwhile, earlier in the day a strong finish from Armagh saw them reach the semi-finals with victory over Ulster champions Donegal.

The Orchard County have improved with each game in their qualifier run, but they trailed by 2-10 to 1-10 when the excellent Yvonne McMonagle scored her second goal for Donegal in the 44th minute.

An immediate response was summoned in the form of a levelling goal from Caroline O’Hanlon after Aoife Lennon and Aoife McCoy combined well. Geraldine McLaughline did point Donegal in front again on 46 but it was to be their final score.

McMonagle had a chance to put Donegal four ahead with what would have been a hat-trick goal only for Katie Daly to save brilliantly. Buoyed by that let-off, Armagh had late points from Fionnuala McKenna, O’Hanlon and Aimee Mackin to repeat their national league Division 2 final win over the same opposition and progress to the last four.

Yvonne McMonagle with Sinead McCleary Donegal's Yvonne McGonagle racked up 2-03 but it still wasn't enough for her side to get the win. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Donegal began very brightly in the first half, and had a 0-5 to 0-2 lead inside the first quarter, with McLaughlin scoring three points. It could have been argued that the should have been further ahead and Armagh found their feet as Kelly Mallon, Aoife Lennon and Cloadagh McCambridge all pointed to bring them level.

After McMonagle and Mackin exchanged points, McMonagle then struck for her first goal, profiting from McLaughlin’s excellent handpass to finish smartly for a 1-6 to 0-6 lead. Aoife McDonnell then put Davy McLaughlin’s side four ahead but O’Hanlon and Lennon ensured that Armagh trailed by just two, 1-7 to 0-8, at half-time.

Donegal again pushed four clear early in the second period, but Lennon netted for an Armagh goal, McCoy and Sarah Marley the architects, on 36. An incredible McMonagle point was Donegal’s response but efforts of an equal quality from Mallon and Lennon tied matters at 1-10 each again. McMonagle’s second goal, from McDonnell’s pass, looked to have swung the momentum Donegal’s way again, but Armagh were not to be denied.

Armagh players celebrate the final whistle Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Scorers for Armagh: A Lennon 1-3, K Mallon 0-3 (0-2f), A Mackin 0-4, C O’Hanlon 1-2 (0-2f), C McCambrige, F McKenna 0-1 each.

Scorers for Donegal: Y McMonagle 2-3, G McMcLaughlin 0-4 (0-1f), N McLaughlin, A McDonnell, K Herron, N Hegarty 0-1 each.


K Daly; M Tennyson, C Morgan, N Marley; S Reel, S McCleary, C McCambridge; C O’Hanlon, F McKenna; A McCoy, K Mallon, L McConville; S Marley, A Lennon, A Mackin.

Subs: M Sheridan for McCambridge (26), C Malone for McConville (41), M McGuinness for Sheridan (46).


L Gallagher; T Doherty, E Gallagher, N McLaughlin; T McCafferty, K Keeney, C Hegarty; G Houston, K Herron; Y McMonagle, N Hegarty, N McLaughlin; G McLaughlin, A Barrett, A McDonnell.

Subs: R Boyle for McCafferty (28), E McCrory for Barrett (38), R McCafferty for Houston (41), K Guthrie for Boyle (54).

Referee: S Mulvihill (Kerry).

Originally published at 15.21

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About the author:

Denis Hurley

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