Armagh gain promotion with ease
INTERMEDIATE FINAL:ARMAGH REGAINED senior status with a seven-point victory at Croke Park with an accomplished performance against Waterford.
At half-time, Armagh led by 1-5 to 1-1 but they could have been much further ahead, having hit 13 wides. Waterford opened the scoring through Michelle McGrath after 18 seconds but after hitting the front, Armagh were never caught. After 10 minutes, Caroline O’Hanlon’s free struck the Waterford upright but full-forward Shauna O’Hagan goaled from close range for a 1-0 to 0-1 lead. Waterford netted in the 12th minute when Hannah Landers took a pass from Linda Wall to finish superbly at the Hill 16 end.
Armagh fully deserved their half-time lead as Waterford struggled. Wall cut the gap back to three points but Armagh were always in control and with 20 minutes left, were 1-10 to 0-3 clear. In the 41st minute, Ciara Lennon went close to netting a second Armagh goal.
A foul on Linda Wall by Sinead McCleary handed Waterford the chance to get back into the game, as referee Pat Kehoe awarded a penalty but Michelle Ryan’s poorly-struck effort in the 52nd minute was saved by Catherine McAlinden, who then produced a fine save from Ryan a minute later. Armagh went close to a second goal as Kelly Mallon’s shot across the face of goal was narrowly missed by Mags McAlinden.
ARMAGH:C McAlinden; C McCann, L Brown, S Marley; S Reel, N Marley, N Henderson (0-1); S McCleary, C O’Hanlon (0-3, frees); M McGuinness (0-1), M McAlinden (0-2, frees), F McKenna (0-2); C Lennon (0-1), S O’Hagan (1-1), K Mallon (0-1). Subs: S Mackle for McKenna (50 mins), M Tennyson for Mallon (52 mins), C O’Hare for Lennon (57 mins), C Duffy for Henderson (57 mins).
WATERFORD:A Jordan; A Landers, K McGrath, N Dunphy; R Tobin, G Enright, M Wall; M McGrath (0-1), E Power; L Wall (0-2), M Ryan (0-2, one free), T Fitzgerald; A Wall, S Curran, H Landers (1-0). Subs: E Fennell for Fitzgerald (24 mins), M Revins for Landers (46 mins), G Kenneally for Fennell (56 mins).
Referee: P Kehoe (Carlow).