Ladies: Coleman's late strike sees Armagh snatch opening win against Meath

June 08, 2024

Kerry's Niamh Carmody tackles Niamh Coleman of Armagh ©INPHO/Leah Scholes

Armagh 3-9 
Meath 1-14 

by Shaun Casey 

A late goal from Niamh Coleman saw Armagh pick up an opening day win in the TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship against Meath at the BOX-IT Athletic Grounds. 

Armagh had just lost Blaithin Mackin, who earned her first minutes of 2024, to a yellow card, and the game was all square when Coleman found the net. 

She reacted quickest to Kelly Mallon’s shot and although Meath grabbed the final two scores, it was Armagh who left with the three points. 

Eve Lavery, Armagh’s only left-footed outfield player in the absence of Aimee Mackin and Caroline O’Hanlon, got the game up and running although her effort was cancelled out by a free from Emma Duggan. 

Armagh then raised a green flag with a contender for goal of the season. Aoife McCoy captured Anna Carr’s kickout and after a couple of swift handpasses with Niamh Henderson and Lauren McConville, McCoy buried the ball to the net. 

Ciara Smyth and Lavery (free) swapped points, while superb scores from Duggan and Megan Thynne made it a one-point game. Kelly Mallon and Duggan both converted frees as Smyth nailed her second to tie things up. 

Lavery (free) added her third of the afternoon to nudge the hosts ahead, but Duggan (free) had the final say of the opening half and both sides headed to the tunnel level at 1-4 to 0-7. 

Meath got their noses in front through Sarah Wall, although that lead could have been more but for the heroics Armagh keeper Carr. The Orchard Ladies tagged on the next four scores with Mallon (free), Lavery (2) and Blaithin Mackin all splitting the posts. 

Meath turned the screw with a quick fire 1-3. Two Duggan points were split by 1-1 from midfielder Aoibhín Cleary, who punched home the Meath goal after Smyth’s shot had dropped short. 

Armagh’s response was rapid and again it was McCoy who fired past Meath skipper Monica McGuick, with the aid of the crossbar, after being played through by Mallon, to level things up once again. 

Dearbhla Coleman punched over from close range, assisted by sister Niamh, before the older of the two Coleman’s hit Armagh’s third goal. Byrne and Duggan scored for Meath in the final few minutes, but it wasn’t enough to get something from the game. 

Scorers: Armagh: A McCoy 2-0, E Lavery 0-5 (3f), N Coleman 1-0, K Mallon 0-2 (2f), B Mackin 0-1, D Coleman 0-1. 

Scorers Meath: E Duggan 0-8 (5f), A Cleary 1-1, C Smyth 0-2, M Byrne 0-1, M Thynne 0-1, S Wall 0-1. 

Armagh: A Carr, G Ferguson, C McCambridge, R Mulligan, C Towe, L McConville, D Coleman, N Coleman, B Mackin, E Druse, A McCoy, S Quigley, E Lavery, N Henderson, K Mallon. Subs: N Reel for E Lavery (51 mins) M McCambridge for S Quigley (51 mins), M McCann for E Druse (63 mins). 

Meath: M McGuirk, S Wall, M Lynch, N Troy, N Gallogly, K Cole, K Newe, M O’Shaughnessy, A Cleary, M Thynne, S Melia, C Smyth, M Byrne, M Farrelly, E Duggan. Subs: L Young for C Smyth (54 mins), S Lynch for K Cole (59 mins). 

Ref: Gus Chapman (Sligo) 

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