Armagh 1-12 Westmeath 0-9
Kelly Mallon’s goal midway through the second half was key in helping Armagh to advance to the quarter-finals of the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies SFC as they prevailed against a game Westmeath outfit at Kingspan Breffni Park this evening.
The sides had been evenly matched for three-quarters of the encounter and were tied at 0-7 each when Aimee Mackin pointed a supreme effort to put Armagh back in front.
Moments later, centre-forward Mallon charged through the middle and sent a crashing shot to the Westmeath net, with a point from the same player leaving five between the teams straight after that.
Westmeath did battle hard to get back into the game but, while they did reduce the lead, a game remained elusive and Armagh march on to the last eight, where they will face Donegal.
Early on, points from Mallon and Mackin suggested that Armagh would easily live up to their favourites’ billing but the sin-binning of Caitlin Malone disrupted their rhythm and Westmeath got going with scores from Maud-Annie Foley and Johanna Maher.
Two points from Mackin sandwiched a free by player of the game Caroline O’Hanlon – who was celebrating her birthday – as Armagh sought to reassert themselves, but by half-time Westmeath were level, with Fiona Leavy, Foley (free) and Karen McDermott all on target.
Karen Hegarty put Westmeath ahead for the first time in the second half’s nascent stages and then Leavy extended that advantage, but it was as good as it got for them.
Fionnuala McKenna and Aoife McCoy tied matters once more before Armagh surged ahead, with Mallon’s goal critical.
Chloe Kelly and Maher did have further Westmeath points but Armagh defended well against the goal threat.
Aoife Lennon, McKenna and Mackin were all on target as they pulled away in the closing stages.
Scorers for Armagh: A Mackin 0-5, K Mallon 1-2, F McKenna 0-2, C O’Hanlon (0-1f), A Lennon, A McCoy 0-1.
Scorers for Westmeath: MA Foley (0-1f), K McDermott, F Leavy 0-2 each, K Hegarty, C Kelly, J Maher 0-1 each.
ARMAGH: K Daly; M Tennyson, C Morgan, T McCoy; S Reel, S McCleary, N Marley; C Malone, C O’Hanlon; A McCoy, K Mallon, L McConville; S Marley, F McKenna, A Mackin.
Subs: C McCambridge for McCleary (9, injured), A Lennon for Malone (36), M Sheridan for T McCoy (37), M McGuinness for McCambridge (49), C Marley for A McCoy (50).
WESTMEATH: S Keegan; C Finch, J Rogers, A Martin; C Blundell, F Claffey, L Brennan; T Durkan, E Morris; MA Foley, J Maher, F Leavy; K Boyce-Jordan, K Hegarty, K McDermott.
Subs: S Dolan for McDermott (46), C Kelly for Finch (49), F Coyle for Blundell (49, injured).
Referee: J Niland (Sligo).