TG4 Ulster Ladies Senior Football Championship First Round
Monaghan 4-16 Armagh 0-4 5/6/11
Monaghan’s ladies started their defence of the Ulster SFC title with a comprehensive win over Armagh in Omagh on Sunday. Monaghan were totally dominant from start to finish, with Ciara McAnespie and Cathriona McConnell scored two goals each, while Armagh only managed one point in the second half (which came deep into injury-time). Ciara McAnespie was the star player on show, while McConnell, Laura McEnaney, Amanda Casey, Lavina Connolly and Aoife McAnespie also played well for Monaghan. Kelly Mallon, Caitlín Malone and Catherine McAlinden did their best for an outclassed Armagh side.
Monaghan took less than a minute to open their account through a point from Laura McEnaney. Ciara McAnespie doubled Monaghan’s lead, before Caoimhe Mohan linked up with Therese McNally to fist point number three. Monaghan missed a couple of goal chances as McAnespie was denied by Armagh keeper Catherine McAlinden, while Cathriona McConnell sent a shot just wide, but a good point from Amanda Casey increased their lead to four, before Mags McAlinden got Armagh off the mark from a free. McConnell restored Monaghan’s four-point lead and although Kelly Mallon kicked a fine point from a difficult angle for Armagh, the Ulster champions got their first goal on 11 minutes when Ciara McAnespie raced clear of the Armagh defence and fired to the net. Therese McNally and Mags McAlinden swapped points from frees, before Ellen McCarron became the sixth Monaghan forward to get on the scoresheet, with a point at the end of a strong run by Mohan. McNally tapped over a 13-metre free for a foul on McAnespie to give Monaghan an eight-point cushion at half-time: 1-8 to 0-3.
Monaghan’s dominance continued at the start of the second half with points from McConnell (free) and McEnaney, followed by a goal from McConnell, who finished off a move involving Ciara McAnespie and Caoimhe Mohan. McAnespie added a point and McConnell scored her second goal when she squeezed a shot past the Armagh keeper from a very tight angle. McConnell converted a free for a foul on McAnespie, before McEnaney kicked her third point at the end of a well-worked attack involving Natasha Mohan, McAnespie and McCarron. McConnell and McAnespie both had shots saved, but Monaghan continued to tag on scores at pace with points from Therese McNally and Aoife McAnespie and a superb second goal by Ciara McAnespie, who again used her pace to full effect before blasting home. Armagh were denied a goal when Monaghan keeper Linda Martin blocked a shot from Mallon, before Farney sub Niamh Kindlon added her name to Monaghan’s list of scorers – nine in all. Armagh finally got their only score of the second half three minutes into injury-time with a point from sub Amy Hughes, but Monaghan had by that stage booked their place in the semi-finals against Down.
Monaghan: L Martin; M Treanor, S Courtney (Capt.), G McNally; L Connolly, N Fahy, A McAnespie (0-1); A Casey (0-1), C Courtney; C Mohan (0-1), E McCarron (0-1), T McNally (0-3, 2f); C McAnespie (2-2), C McConnell (2-3, 0-2f), L McEnaney (0-3).
Subs: C O’Reilly for Treanor (H-T), N Mohan for C Mohan (39 mins), N Kindlon (0-1) for McConnell (51), E McElroy for Connolly (53), N Lynch for McEnaney (57).
Armagh: C McAlinden; S McCoy, M McGuinness, C McCann; J Miller, L Brown, M Moriarty (Capt.); S Reel, C Malone; L Knox, C O’Hanlon, S McCleary; M O’Donnell, K Mallon (0-1), M McAlinden (0-2f).
Subs: A Hughes (0-1) for Knox (39), C Lennon for Miller (40), D Morgan for McCann (57).
Referee: K McShea (Donegal).