Sligo surprise Armagh in Ladies football championship

Armagh 2-8 Sligo 3-12

Armagh 2-8 Sligo 3-12

Laurence Cunningham’s Sligo advanced to the second round of TG4 All-Ireland Ladies senior football championship qualifiers with a surprise seven-point victory over Armagh at Pearse Park, Longford, on Saturday afternoon.

Armagh were 1-3 favourites before throw-in but a fiercely-committed Sligo tore up the formbook and were full value for an impressive win.

With 28 minutes on the watch, Sligo were 3-5 to 0-0 clear as they put their Connacht championship mauling against Mayo firmly behind them.

Armagh’s top scorer Kelly Mallon scored 1-1 before half-time to give the Orchard County some hope but they had little chance of pulling back a deficit which had stood at 14 points.

Armagh cut the gap back to six points twice in the closing stages but Sligo held their nerve to close the game out.

Noelle Gormely scored 2-2 for the Yeats County as full-forward Sandra Scully chipped in with 0-4, including three points from play.

By the 27th minute, all six of Sligo’s starting forwards had scored, and that was before Mallon opened Armagh’s account with a well-taken goal.

Despite Sligo’s superiority on the scoreboard, Armagh did create some decent scoring chances in the first half but paid the price for nine wides before half-time.

Armagh suffered an early double-blow when defender Sinead McCleary received a yellow card and was sin-binned for 10 minutes.

The wing-back’s foot block on Sinead McTiernan resulted in a penalty award for Sligo on a sweltering afternoon and Gormely made no mistake with a low shot into the corner.

Karen Moloney steamed through for Sligo’s second goal in the 22nd minute before Gormely netted again two minutes later with a looping effort over the head of Catherine McAlinden.

Armagh bagged two second half goals, from Mallon and Caroline O’Hanlon, but there was no way back for Paul Hagan’s side, who lost out to Monaghan in the Ulster championship.

Scorers:

Armagh: K Mallon 1-4 (1-0 pen, 0-2f), C O’Hanlon 1-2, M Moriarty & M O’Donnell 0-1 each.

Sligo: N Gormley 2-2 (1-0 pen, 0-1f), S Scully 0-4 (1f), K Maloney 1-0, N Fowley 0-3, S McTiernan 0-2, L Gillespie 0-1.

ARMAGH: C McAlinden; S McCoy, A Donaldson, C McCann; R O’Reilly, L Brown, S McCleary; M Moriarty, C Malone; M Luckie, C O’Hanlon, L Knox; M O’Donnell, K Mallon, C Murray.

Subs: S McConville for Donaldson (half-time), P Enright for Luckie (34), S Sexton for Knox (47).

SLIGO: K Connolly; E Codd, R Monaghan, A Ewing; A.M. Coleman, J Mulligan, A Horgan; B Byrne, S O’Sullivan; K Maloney, N Fowley, S McTiernan; L Gillespie, S Scully, N Gormley.

Subs: R Colleary for Maloney (39), C Colleran for Scully (60+5), O McGowan for Ewing (60+7).

Referee: G Corrigan (Down).

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