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Armagh let it slip against Tipp

Armagh 4-6 Tipperary 3-10

Armagh allowed a place in the LIDL Ladies National Football League Division 2 Final slip from their grasp as they squandered a second half 9 point lead 4-3 to 1-3 as Tipperary fought back to snatch a late victory with extra-time looming.

Wind assisted Armagh were chasing the game from the outset at Kinnegad as Tipperary went 4 points in front inside as many minutes as an Orla O Dwyer point followed a second minute goal from Mairead Morrissey. Armagh replied with 1-3 in the next 12 minutes with Aimee Mackin opening their account with a point followed by a brace from Aoife McCoy to reduce the deficit to the minimum. When McCoy was fouled for a penalty Mackin stepped up to convert putting the Orchard girls 2 points clear but Tipp hit back to level with points from O’Dwyer and Ashling Moloney with 20 minutes gone on the clock. Armagh went on the offensive for the remainder of the half in the hopes of establishing an interval lead and they achieved this in style as Aimeen Mackin netted her second goal and set up team mate Lauren McConville for a third Armagh goal, which put 6 points between the teams 3-3 to 1-3 at the short whistle.

Armagh followed the Tipp first half start with an even quicker goal as Blaithin Mackin stretched the lead to 9 points inside 20 seconds of the re-start. After Tipp shipped a few wides they began to chip away at the Orchard lead as points from O Dwyer and 3 from Moloney made it 1-7 to 4-3 midway through the half. The game changer came when the Premier ladies pounced on a poor Armagh kick -out and punished Armagh to the full as Anna Rose Kennedy and Roisin Howard combined to send in Gillian O’Brien who finished to the net, quickly followed by another Moloney point which left the bare minimum between the team. Armagh had resisted the temptation of starting

Commonwealth Games star Carolin O Hanlon but when introduced after 34 minutes Caroline impacted the game with a brace of points to put a green flag between the sides. Battling Tipp were not for lying down with their top scorer Moloney setting up Roisin Howard for the equalising goal with 7 minutes left on the clock.

The crossbar denied O’Hanlon a possible match winning goal but Aoife McCoy pointed Armagh a point ahead as the clock ticked down but a sixth Moloney point looked like bringing the match to extra-time. Substitute Kate Davey was to be the heroine as she fired over the match winning point at the death to send Tip to a final meeting with James Daly’s Cavan, who were 1-8 to 0-8 winners over Waterford in the other semi-final played at Birr.

Armagh: Caroline O’Hare; Sharon Reel, Caoimhe Morgan, Sarah Marley; Lauren McConville (1-0), Rebecca O’Reilly, Mairead Tennyson; Blaithin Mackin (1-0), Megan Sheridan; Aoife McCoy (0-3), Aimee Mackin (2-1), Clodagh McCambridge; Kelly Mallon, Fionnuala McKenna, Marian McGuinness.Sub: Caroline O’Hanlon (0-2) for Mallon (34 mins)

Tipperary: Lauren Fitzpatrick; Siobhan Condon, Maria Curley, Emma Buckley; Brid Condon, Samantha Lambert, Caoimhe Condon; Jennifer Grant, Gillian O’Brien (1-0); Anna Rose Kennedy, Mairead Morrissey (1-0), Niamh Lonergan; Orla O’Dwyer (0-3), Aishling Moloney (0-6), Roisin Howard. (1-0) Subs: Kate Davey (0-1) for O’Brien (45 mins), Rachel O’Donnell for Condon (54 mins), Sarah Everard for Lonergan (60 mins)