Cavan coast to ladies football semi-finals with comfortable win over Tyrone
Lidl National Football League Division Two round 5: Tyrone 1-9 Cavan 1-18
CAVAN claimed the remaining semi-final spot in Division Two and set up a clash with Waterford, following a comfortable victory over hosts Tyrone in Drumragh on Sunday.
The Breffni girls knew entering the field nothing less than a victory would do as they lay in fifth place in the league two points behind Tyrone.
However, it was the home side that started the brighter and led 0-4 to 0-2 after 10 minutes with Aine Canavan, Niamh Hughes, Chloe McCaffrey and Maria Canavan all raising the white flag.
But, Cavan soon got to grips with the game and settled into the contest with Sinead Greene leading by example as captain in defence and Donna English dominating at midfield.
Quick fire points from Aisling Doonan and Bronagh Sheridan, who between them contributed 0-13, levelled up matters before a further three unanswered converted frees from Doonan had Cavan three clear by the 23rd minute.
Tyrone were struggling to break down what was now a very well organised Cavan defence and although Maria Canavan did hit a free, Roisin O’Keefe and Aisling Sheridan replied to give the visitors a 0-9 to 0-5 interval lead, Tyrone's cause not helped by the loss of Aine Canavan through injury.
Bronagh Sheridan, Catriona Smith and Doonan stretched the lead further on the resumption before Grainne Rafferty struck a point for the Red Hand girls. Both Doonan and Bronagh Sheridan continued to punish Tyrone’s indiscipline before wing half back Slaine McCarroll give the home side a glimmer of hope with a superb finish to the net with six minutes remaining to reduce the deficit to five points.
Cavan though hit back with a Bronagh Sheridan point, and a goal from the excellent English completed a fine afternoon for James Daly’s side and set up that last four meeting with Waterford.
Daly was delighted with how his side went about their business to book their place in the last four and remain firmly in the promotion hunt.
“It was a good performance. The girls were very efficient with the ball today. We haven’t been maybe that way over the last month, bar last week, but the girls played really, really well. We set a game plan out and the girls stuck to it and we were very, very good,” he said.
“The first 10 minutes, it took us to get into the game and get our match-ups set up and again Sinead Greene was outstanding and she picked up their threat and snuffed out their threat. But we were very, very good. We have six really, really good, top class defenders and everyone of them done their job.
“We are in the semi-final and there are four good teams, ourselves, Armagh, Tipperary and Waterford in the semi-finals and it doesn’t matter who you get, you are going to have to play each other to win the cup and the best team out of the four will take the cup home. It’s all championship football now. Today was the quarter-final, two weeks’ time is the semi-final and then the final and it’s all championship now. You lose and you’re out.”
Division One: Donegal 4-11 Cork 2-3
DONEGAL did all they could by defeating defending champions Cork by 14 points in O’Donnell Park, Letterkenny on Saturday evening but it wasn’t enough as last year’s finalists missed out on semi-final place.
With victories for Mayo against Monaghan and Galway against Westmeath, it is the two Connacht counties who progress to the knockout stages in third and fourth place respectively as Donegal, who finished level on 13 points with Galway, miss out because they scored the less number of points in their head-to-head draw earlier on. Cork had already qualified for the Division One semi-finals, with second place, at least, secured, so for them, the result meant nothing.
Yvonne Bonnar hit 2-3, Cork’s total over the 60 minutes, while Niamh Hegarty grabbed the home side’s other two goals as the visitors failed to score in the second half until the final minute.
Donegal built up a 1-2 to 0-1 lead by the 11th minute when Bonnar scored the her side’s first goal but 10 minutes later it was champions Cork who were in front, 2-1 to 1-2, Orlagh Farmer with a 15th minute major and Aine O’Sullivan with the second from close range.
However, Maxi Curran and Damien Devenney’s side responded emphatically and outscored their opponents 1-4 to 0-1 before half-time, Hegarty on target from the penalty spot after captain Karen Guthrie had been fouled to help Donegal to a 2-5 to 2-2 half-time lead.;
Second half points from Geraldine McLaughlin, Bonnar, Ciara Grant and Hegarty moved Donegal into a 2-9 to 2-2 lead before the Ulster’s side third goal came from Bonnar who finished off a move that started from a save from team-mate and goalkeeper Laura Gallagher to deny Brid O’Sullivan while Hegarty scored her second and Donegal’s fourth when she pounced on a rebound in the 53rd minute after McLaughlin’s penalty, after she herself was fouled, was saved by Cork sub keeper Caoimhe Moore.
Division One: Mayo 6-11 Monaghan 3-11
MAYO edged a nine-goal thriller against Monaghan at Swinford in Sunday to book their place in the Division One semi-finals.
The nine point winning margin is somewhat generous as two late goals from substitutes Sarah Mulvihill and Rebecca Waldron put some shine on the victory.
No doubt the three points awarded to the Connacht side after Kerry, who had defeated them in an earlier round, were punished for fielding ineligible players, was a major boost for Mayo, propelling them into the top four with ultimately, Donegal missing out.
Mayo led 3-5 to 1-5 at half-time, Sarah Rowe, who finished with 3-4, hitting two first half goals for the home side and Niamh Kelly the other, while Cora Courtney grabbed Monaghan’s major.
That six point interval lead became nine shortly after the resumption when Row completed her hat-trick from the penalty spot but Ann Marie Burns’ side rallied and with 10 minutes remaining they were back to within four points, 4-10 to 3-9, thanks to two Muireann Atkinson goals. However, a point from Niamh Kelly and those two late goals killed off the Monaghan challenge as they ended their league in sixth place.
Division One semi-finals
CHAMPIONS Cork, who finished second in the Division One table, will face Mayo in the semi-finals after they finished in third place while table toppers and All-Ireland champions Dublin will face Galway, who inflicted their only league loss, in the other semi. Those games are scheduled for the weekend of Saturday and Sunday April 21 and 22.
Division Two: Armagh 2-18 Clare 1-10
ARMAGH clinched their Division Two semi-final place with a dominant victory over Clare at Miltown on Sunday.
Lorraine McCaffrey and Fionnuala McAtamney’s side needed a victory to ensure a top four finish, without having to worry about other results and they did just that, the win consolidating their final position in third place.
The visitors went 0-4 to 0-1 ahead after eight minutes through Aoife McCoy, Aimee Mackin, Fionnuala McKenna and Kelly Mallon points but the home side replied through Grainne Nolan and Niamh O’Dea to make it just a one point game by the 12th minute. However, a strong second quarter from Armagh saw them hit 1-7 without reply to put them firmly in the driving seat with an 11 point half-time advantage, 1-11 to 0-3, as Clare failed to score.
Mackin squeezed the ball home into the bottom corner from a tight angle in the 15th minute after she had added a point a minute earlier as Mallon, Mackin, Niamh Reel, Marian McGuinness, McKenna and Mackin again wrapped up a strong end to the half.
Clare were handed a lifeline two minutes after the resumption when they hit home from the penalty spot through Nolan to make it 1-11 to 1-3. But despite being reduced to 14 players when Rebecca O’Reilly was sent to the sin bin as a result of the penalty being awarded, Armagh were able to keep their side of the scoreboard ticking over through McCoy and Lauren McConville to put 10 between them. Clare did enjoy a bit of a purple patch between the 36th and 46th minutes outscoring Armagh 0-5 to 0-1 to reduce the gap to six, 1-14 to 1-8, but that was as close as they would get.
Armagh upped the ante once again and 1-3 without reply, Mackin, who finished with 2-6, with her and Armagh’s second goal in the 48th minute effectively ending any slim chance of a Clare comeback as McConville, Mallon and Mackin popped over further scores and O’Dea brought Clare’s point tally into double figures.
Division Two semi-finals
WATERFORD, by way of beating Tipperary in the final round, finished top of Division Two and set up a semi-final meeting with Cavan, whose win over Tyrone saw them take the last spot, finishing level with Armagh on 13 points but in fourth place by way of a lesser score difference. The Orchard County will face second placed Tipperary, who were defeated for the first time in 24 games stretching over two years. And Sligo, were unable to save themselves from relegation, losing to Laois, and finishing their Division Two league campaign winless.
Division Three semi-finals
THERE was only one game to be completed in Division Three and although it did not affect the final standings, table toppers Wexford did lose their unbeaten league run, to Offaly. The semi-finals see Wexford face Kildare, who denied Roscommon a place in the knockout stages by way of their head-to-head result while Down, who finished in third will face Meath. Leitrim were relegated last weekend and will ply their trade in Division Four next year.
Division Four semi-finals
ONE of the Division Four semi-final pairings will not be finalised until tonight following the outcome of Antrim and Derry’s derby clash. If Antrim win, they will take the last knockout place, denying Fermanagh on their head-to-head. A draw will not be enough for the Saffrons and it will be Fermanagh who will progress and play Wicklow, who finished top of the table. The other semi-final sees Louth play Limerick.
Division One: Dublin 1-16 Kerry 1-11, Donegal 4-11 Cork 2-3, Westmeath 0-7 Galway 0-13, Mayo 6-11 Monaghan 3-11
Division Two: Tipperary 2-6 Waterford 1-19, Tyrone 1-9 Cavan 1-18, Clare 1-10 Armagh 2-18 , Sligo 2-12 Laois 4-12
Division Three: Offaly 4-12 Wexford 4-8
Division Four: Fermanagh 0-0 Kilkenny CONC