Mayo women put week of turmoil behind them to thrash Cavan

Round-up: Kerry thrash Tipperary while Armagh stage late Monaghan comeback

Mayo 3-23 Cavan 4-13

Sarah Rowe and Grace Kelly tore Cavan asunder as Peter Leahy’s Mayo put a week of upheaval behind them to get their TG4 ladies SFC Group 4 campaign off to a flying start in Clones.

In a game packed with goals and classy point scoring, Rowe stood tallest and despite being withdrawn, she return for a second time with 11 minutes remaining to see out the win. Niamh Kelly kicked five points from play, while Grace Kelly found the net in each half of a stunning team performance.

Considering the turmoil that ravaged the Mayo camp with 12 players and two selectors departing, the opening 30 minutes football they produced at St Tiarnach’s Park was a sight to behold. By half-time they scored 1-13, all of which came from play, while the full-forward line of Niamh Kelly, Rowe and Grace Kelly kicked 1-11 between them in that spell.


It was Aisling Maguire and Bronagh Sheridan who kept Cavan in touch with a couple of points each, but scores seemed to come easier to Mayo and Rowe kicked three of her side’s first four points to get them off to a great start.

Mayo were 0-8 to 0-5 ahead by the 17th minute, but Cavan pulled level moments later when Aisling Sheridan gathered a short free and Maguire found the net. Mayo needed Sorcha Murphy on her toes after that and she pulled off two fine saves to deny Donna English and Sinead Greene, when goals seemed certain to follow.

Six minutes from the interval Mayo surged ahead again when Grace Kelly powered through and goaled off the back of Dayna Finn’s turnover on halfway, but in the 30th minute English scored Cavan’s second goal, although the brilliant Niamh Kelly kicked her fifth point of the half to put Mayo 1-13 to 2-6 up at the break.

Bronagh Sheridan got Cavan off the mark after the restart with a contentious effort, but after Kathryn Sullivan landed an inspiration effort on the run for Mayo, Peter Leahy’s side moved seven clear when Grace Kelly hit the net for the second time in the 33rd minute.

The goals continued to flow though, and Aisling Sheridan goaled on the turn for Cavan two minutes later, and Catherine Dolan made it two in four minutes to cut Mayo’s lead to three.

Amazingly Rowe bagged the seventh goal of the game in the 39th minute when her brilliant dummy earned her a yard in the small rectangle.

Cavan did keep plugging away and a couple of frees from Maguire and Roisin O’Keeffe’s score meant Mayo could not settle, but Grace Kelly kicked three in a row to ease any doubts as Cavan finished the game with 13 players following yellow cards for English and Maguire.

Mayo: S Murphy; E Lowther, N O'Malley, D Caldwell; R Kearns, C McManamon, K Sullivan (0-1); N Moran, D Finn; S Mulvihill, F Doherty (0-3), S Cafferkey; N Kelly (0-5), S Rowe, G Kelly (2-6, 1 f). Subs: R Flynn for Lowther (39), T O'Connor for Mulvihill (41), E Needham (0-1)for Rowe (42), S Ludden for Moran (48), S Rowe (1-7)for Caldwell (49).

Cavan: E Baugh; R Doonan, G McGlade, J Moore; S Greene (0-2), L Fitzpatrick, S O'Sullivan; N Byrd, D English (1-0); C Smith (0-1), A Maguire (1-5, 4f), C Dolan (1-0); A Sheridan (1-0), B Sheridan (0-3, 1 f), C Finnegan (0-1). Subs: S Reilly for Fitzpatrick (21), A Cornyn for Smith (h-t), L McVeety for Finnegan (38), R O'Keeffe (0-1) for B Sheridan (43).

Referee: Niall McCormack (Laois).

Kerry 3-13 Tipperary 2-10

Sarah Houlihan scored 2-3 as Kerry bounced back from their Munster final defeat to Cork to open Group 1 of the TG4 ladies All-Ireland senior championship with victory over Tipperary at MacDonagh Park in Nenagh.

In the only all-Munster tie of the round robin series Eddie Sheehy’s side held a comfortable 2-9 to 1-3 lead at half-time. Houlihan and Andrea Murphy scored the first-half goals for them.

Roisin Howard scored Tipperary’s goal in the first-half and when Aisling Moloney did likewise after half-time they only trailed by four points. But Houlihan’s second goal made the difference for Kerry.

Tipperary lost the influential Jennifer Grant before throw-in and she was replaced by Lucy Spillane, while Samantha Lambert dropped deep in defence where she was used as a sweeper.

Both defences stifled their opposing attackers in the opening quarter. Aisling McCarthy kicked Tipperary’s first point after only 45 seconds but Louise Ni Mhuircheartaigh equalised in the fourth minute.

Kerry raced into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead with Eilish O’Leary, Sarah Houlihan and Ni Mhuircheartaigh on target. Aisling Moloney had moved into full-forward and she scored twice to reduce the arrears for Tipperary.

And their goal arrived in the 21st minute. Moloney was central again, she set up Orla O’Dwyer and her pass put Howard through for the first goal. Tipperary were 1-3 to 0-4 ahead.

Ni Mhuircheartaigh and Houlihan levelled the game again in the 24th minute. And Kerry struck for a crucial goal shortly after. Centre-forward Ni Mhuircheartaigh passed to Houlihan and she showed her speed to apply the finish.

Murphy and O’Leary added further scores and on the half hour Houlihan’s long ball wasn’t dealt with by the Tipperary defence. Ni Mhuircheartaigh gathered possession and she assisted Murphy’s goal.

Amanda Brosnan rounded off the first half scoring with a fine effort and Kerry were 2-9 to 1-3 ahead at half-time. That lead was whittled down to 2-10 to 2-6 by the 39th minute.

McCarthy (two) and Moloney both scored points and then Moloney drove through the heart of the Tipperary defence to score a brilliant goal.

Houlihan scored Kerry’s second point of the half two minutes later and it was a vital score because Tipperary hit three in a row after that again. Gillian O’Brien scored twice off the bench but Kerry held on with Houlihan and Ni Mhuircheartaigh scoring again late on.

Kerry: L Fitzgerald; L Coughlan, S Murphy, E Lynch; D Kearney, A Desmond, A O'Connell; L Scanlon, A Brosnan (0-1); S Lynch, L Ni Mhuircheartaigh (0-6, 3f), A Foley; A Murphy (1-1), S Houlihan (2-3, 2f), E O'Leary (0-2). Subs: K O'Sullivan for Scanlon (23), E Dineen for Murphy (43), B Ryan for Foley (58), A O'Callaghan for Houlihan (66).

Tipperary: L Fitzpatrick; M Curley, L Spillane, B Condon; L Dillon, S Lambert, O O'Dwyer; A Moloney (1-4), S Condon; N Lonergan, A R Kennedy, C Condon; R Howard (1-1), M Morrissey, A McCarthy (0-3, 1 f). Subs: R McGrath for C Condon (44), K Davey for Lonergan (44), G O'Brien (0-2) for Morrissey (44).

Referee: Jonathan Murphy (Carlow).

Armagh 1-11 Monaghan 1-11

Blaithin Mackin launched a stunning comeback for Armagh with a goal eight minutes from time, but they missed a free with the last kick of the game to clinch victory against Monaghan in Clones.

Rosemary Courtney’s goal just before half-time looked to have been the difference between the sides, but after Mackin’s goaled, Caroline O’Halon missed the final kick, which gave both teams a share of the spoils.

The loss of Aimee Mackin from the full-forward line before throw-in was a big blow for Armagh and when their wides’ tally hit six by the 14th minute their absence was evident.

Armagh certainly had their chances in that opening quarter, but one of the late introductions into the team, Mackin, looked very dangerous. She was denied in the first minute by a brilliant Linda Marin save, before the Shane O’Neill’s girl flashed a second goal chance inches wide of target.

The long ball into Mackin sprung the Monaghan defence on several occasions early on, but for some reason the abandoned that tactic for a while and the Armagh forwards struggled on the slow ball coming their way.

While Monaghan had been dominated early on, they proved to be far more efficient than their rivals and after Ellen McCarron got them up and running with a couple of points, Ciara McAnespie showed her class with four points from play by half-time.

O’Hanlon was running the show for Armagh from midfield, but Monaghan had Cora Courtney to do a similar job, and it was Cora Courtney who regularly hit the right pass into her inside line.

Some excellent defending from Sharon and Fiona Courtney denied Niamh Callan a shot on goal three minutes from the interval, and after Eimear McAnespie’s powerful run up the middle, Muireann Atkinson sent Rosemary Courtney in for the opening goal just before the break for a 1-6 to 0-4 lead at half-time.

Armagh were quickest out of the blocks in the second period and points from Lauren McConville, O’Hanlon and Mackin trimmed the lead back to two points, before Hazel Kingham was sin-binned for Monaghan.

Rosemary Courtney found the target for Monaghan after 38 minutes to put a goal between the teams, but a couple of McCarron frees kept Monaghan in control.

Mackin finally got the goal her target play deserved 11 minutes from time, when substitute Kelly Mallon picked her out with a long pass, but they were unable to kick on to the win.

Armagh: C O'Hare; C Morgan, C McCambridge, M Morriarty; T Grimes (0-1), M Tennyson, M Sheridan; S Reel, C O'Hanlon (0-5, 3f); M McGuinness, A McCoy, S Marley; L McConville (0-1), F McKenna )0-2), B Mackin (1-1). Subs: K Mallon (0-1, 1f) for McGuinness (37), R O'Reilly for Tennyson (60).

Monaghan: L Marin; S Courtney, F Courtney, J Fitzpatrick; A McAnespie, H Kingham, R McKenna; E McKenna, E McAnespie (0-1); R Courtney (1-1, 1 f), M Atkinson, C Courtney; C McAnespie (0-4), N Callan, E McCarron (0-5, 4 f). Subs: E Woods for McKenna (39), J Drury for Atkinson (47).

Referee: Maggie Farrelly (Cavan).

Westmeath 2-12 Waterford 2-11

Leanne Slevin’s last ditch free helped Westmeath take a huge step towards the quarter-finals of the TG4 ladies All-Ireland senior championship as they got the better of Waterford at MacDonagh Park in Nenagh.

Westmeath were the better team in the first-half but they didn’t take the lead until the 25th minute. Laura Lee Walsh and Aileen Wall exchanged goals before half-time and Westmeath were 1-6 to 1-4 in front at the break.

Aoife Connolly scored Westmeath’s second goal after the break but Aileen Wall hit back again and it required Slevin’s heroics at the death.

Waterford started better and Maria Delahunty sent over their first point after just two minutes. However that was cancelled out when Leanne Slevin scored a free one minute later.

Delahunty scored again and then for a third time as the powerful Waterford attackers began to wreak havoc, but Westmeath held their nerve.

Annie Dolan and Keeley Corbett Barry traded points before Westmeath wrestled control, took the lead for the first time, and scored 1-3 without reply by the 26th minute.

Slevin pointed a free, Maud Annie Foley added another and Dolan doubled her tally for the day to give Westmeath the advantage. Their goal came in the 26th minute when Walsh waltzed through the Waterford defence and side-footed the ball past Karen Walsh in the Westmeath goal.

Waterford were rocked and trailed by 1-5 to 0-4 before Aileen Wall made a great run upfield and powered her low finish past Kelly Moroney.

Westmeath had five wides in the opening half but they went into the break with the final score, Aoife Connolly on target from a free.

Westmeath were 1-6 to 1-4 in front at half-time and they began to pull clear with points from Slevin and Foley. But their 37th minute goal put daylight between the teams.

It was a smart move involving Dolan and Walsh, and the latter found Connolly who still had work to do but scored Westmeath’s second goal.

Waterford needed to find scores, and Delahunty’s third free meat they only trailed 2-8 to 1-6. Kate McGrath then reduced the deficit even further.

Aileen Wall scored a second Waterford goal in the 47th minute and they were level four minutes later. But Foley hit back to give Westmeath the lead.

Wateford came with a late drive and Delahunty drew the sides level in the 65th minute but three minutes later Slevin secured victory.

Westmeath: K Walsh; L Power, R Dillon, N Feery; F Coyle, J Rogers, C Clarke McMahon; K McDermott, M A Foley (0-3); F Claffey, L Slevin (0-5, 5f), A Dolan (0-2); A Connolly (1-2, 1f), L McCartan, L L Walsh (1-0). Subs: A Jones for McDermott (50), J Maher for Connolly (55), C Blundell for McCartan (62).

Waterford: K Moroney; M Dunford, C McGrath, R Casey; Kate McGrath, Karen McGrath (0-1), M McGrath; E Murray, K Corbett Barry (0-1); M Wall, G Kenneally, K Murray; A Wall (2-0), M Delahunty (0-6, 4f), M Ryan (0-1). Subs: K A Hogan for K Corbett Barry (30), K Hahessy for Murray (50), S Ryan (0-1) for Ryan (50), E Fennell (0-1) for M Wall (56), G Power for Hogan (61).

Referee: John Gallagher (Dublin).