Waterford 4-13 Armagh 2-13: Aileen Wall scored 2-4 from play, as Waterford knocked Armagh out of the TG4 All-Ireland ladies’ senior football championship on Saturday.
Waterford, intermediate champions last year, claimed a notable scalp with a six-point victory in Clane.
Armagh were shocked by Monaghan in the Ulster semi-final and their season is over in July. Waterford march on to Kerry, whom they met in the Munster championship.
It’s a big setback for Armagh, who contested All-Ireland semi-finals in 2014 and last year.
Waterford led by 3-5 to 0-7 at half-time and they could have been further ahead. They threatened to score goals whenever they ran at a porous Armagh defence.
Within a minute, Michelle Ryan palmed home Maria Delahunty’s free and Waterford were 1-2 to 0-0 clear, before Aimee Mackin landed Armagh’s first point.
Mackin would finish the first-half with three points, including two frees, but she also registered four of Armagh’s nine first-half wides, with Kelly Mallon kicking three.
Waterford’s second goal came in the tenth minute, as pressure on the Armagh kick-out led to Caoimhe McGrath’s excellent finish, low into the bottom corner.
That goal handed Waterford an eight-point lead — 2-3 to 0-1 — and they almost had a third goal a minute later, but Lauren McGregor’s shot was well-saved by Anna Carr.
A run of three unanswered points brought Armagh back into contention, but they conceded a third goal in the 22nd minute, as McGregor and Wall played a brilliant one-two, before Wall finished superbly.
Waterford were eight points clear again — 3-3 to 0-4 — but they were hit with a blow, when midfielder, Karen McGrath, was sin-binned with six minutes of the opening half remaining.
Approaching half-time, Waterford managed to limit the damage.
They operated with 14 players, but they had a let-off on the stroke of half-time, when Mallon smacked a shot off the crossbar.
Waterford, now playing with the breeze, opened the second-half in blistering fashion, with four unanswered points, but, after Delahunty crashed a shot off the bar, Armagh hit 1-4 without reply to revive their challenge.
Mackin scored Armagh’s goal in the 46th minute, but Waterford weathered the storm and kept the scoreboard ticking over down the home straight.
Wall bagged her second goal in stoppage time, before Caroline O’Hanlon netted a consolation goal for Armagh.
When the dust had settled, Armagh had racked up a colossal 16 wides, and while Mackin was the top-scorer, with 1-6 for the Orchard County, she also hit eight costly wides.
Scorers for Waterford:
A Wall 2-4, M Delahunty 0-6 (4f), M Ryan 1-2, C McGrath 1-0, S Ryan 0-1.
Scorers for Armagh:
A Mackin 1-6 (0-2f), C O’Hanlon 1-2, S Reel, B Mackin, K Mallon (f), A Henderson & C Marley 0-1 each.
K Hannon; M Wall, M McGrath, L Wall; L Ryan, M Dunford, H Power, K McGrath, E Murray; G Kenneally, M Delahunty, C McGrath; A Wall, M Ryan, L McGregor.
K Murray for C McGrath (44), S Ryan for McGregor (48), A Mullaney for L Ryan (49), N Fennell for Kenneally (56), R Tobin for M Ryan (60).
A Carr; C Morgan, C McCambridge, M Tennyson; S Reel, F McKenna, M Sheridan; N Marley, C O’Hanlon; B Mackin, K Mallon, N Coleman; C Marley, S Finnegan, A Mackin.
S Marley for Morgan (36), A Henderson for B Mackin (39).
N McCormack (Laois)
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