Armagh impressed during their annihilation of Laois Ryan Byrne/INPHO
ladies football

Ladies football: Cork and Armagh march on after dominant displays

The Cork juggernaut rolled on after dispatching Mayo in Tullamore

Cork 1-15 Mayo 0-9

EAMONN RYAN’S CHAMPIONS Cork waltzed into the semi-finals of the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies senior football championship with a comfortable 1-15 to 0-9 victory over Mayo in Saturday’s quarter-final in Tullamore.

The Rebelettes finished with a flourish to book their place in the last four once again and with hopes of a ninth All-Ireland crown in ten seasons still very much in their sights.

Eimear Scally came off the bench to palm home Cork’s only goal of the game eight minutes from time and Mayo finished the game with 14 players when midfielder Claire Egan was sin-binned.

Cork never hit the high notes but still had more than enough class and experience to take care of Mayo by nine points.

Mayo were just a point behind early in the second half when leading scorer Cora Staunton kicked two early scores but that was the cue for Cork to open up with four points without reply, three of them from prolific inside forward Valerie Mulcahy.

Deirdre Reilly and Cora Staunton Despite Cora Staunton's strong performance, Mayo were outclassed by Cork Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

Player of the match Rena Buckley was also on target for the Leesiders and while Mayo responded with two further points, to cut the deficit back to three, Cork stepped on the gas once again to get the job done.

At the end of a disappointing first half, Cork led by 0-7 to 0-4, having battled into the wind during the opening 35 minutes.

Mulcahy had kicked the opening score of the game and by half-time, the Rockbán star had four points to her credit, including two frees.

At the other end, it was star forward Staunton, locked in a battle royale with Angela Walsh, who was causing Cork the most problems.

Staunton scored three first half points from play, including one sensational effort off the outside of her right boot.

That score tied the game at 0-4 apiece but Cork finished the first half well, as Walsh stormed forward to fist a superb 23rd minute point, before Mulcahy converted two close-range frees.

Armagh 5-17 Laois 0-9

Caroline O’Hanlon scored 2-6 as Ulster champions Armagh hammered Laois by 5-17 to 0-9 in Saturday’s first quarter-final in Tullamore.

O’Hanlon, fresh from her international netball exploits with Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games, pulled the strings at O’Connor Park as the Orchard County booked their place in the semi-finals for the first time since 2006.

Caroline O'Hanlon scores Fresh from her Commonwealth Games experience, Caroline O'Hanlon finished the win over Laois with 2-6 Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

O’Hanlon was superb but this was an excellent team performance from Armagh, who announced themselves as serious All-Ireland contenders following last month’s Ulster championship win.

During the course of a 23-point win, James Daly’s Armagh had nine players on the scoresheet, including all six forwards and midfield pair O’Hanlon and Niamh Henderson.

Siobhan Feeney also came off the bench to kick two points and while Laois were simply outclassed, Martina Dunne still managed to contribute 0-6.

At half-time, this game was over as a contest, with wind-assisted Armagh 3-7 to 0-2 clear.

First half goals from O’Hanlon, Mags McAlinden and Lauren McConville helped to put Armagh firmly in the driving seat.

Armagh’s fourth goal arrived in the 43rd minute, when O’Hanlon played a one-two with Kelly Mallon before finishing well.

And Armagh’s fifth and final goal summed up a miserable day for Laois as the ball rebounded off McAlinden and trickled over the line, after goalkeeper Ciamh Dollard had pulled off a good save to deny the corner forward at the first attempt.

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