Fermanagh stunned by last-gasp goal as Carlow go through to Division Four final

Armagh will face Kerry for the Division One title while Antrim drop straight back to Division Four

Rachel Sawyer and Shannan McQuade
Rachel Sawyer of Carlow in action against Shannan McQuade of Fermanagh at Dowdallshill GAA Club in Dundalk Picture: Sportsfile (Tyler Miller / SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)

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Division Four semi-final

Fermanagh 1-10 Carlow 2-8

FERMANAGH were denied promotion and a league final place when sub Maeve O’Neill struck for a last-gasp goal for Carlow in Dowdallshill, yesterday.

The Ulster side will be hugely disappointed after being on the verge of victory, with the defeat also hard to take given they had topped the league, finishing eight points ahead of their opponents, who had qualified in fourth place.

This was a closely contested affair, just as Fermanagh manager CJ McGourty expected, with the sides level on five occasions.

Carlow opened the scoring through Rachel Sawyer in the seventh minute but that was cancelled out almost immediately by Danielle Maguire for Fermanagh before Blaithin Bogue edged her side in front.

Sara Doyle levelled the game for a second time in the 12th minute and she grabbed Carlow’s third in the 25th minute but Bogue had found the back of the net in between times and the Ulster side added another two points, Bogue and a first for Eimear Smyth (free) to give them a four-point half-time lead.

Maguire extended that out to five shortly after the resumption but then Carlow hit 1-4 without reply to swing the game in their favour, 1-7 to 1-5, Sawyer with a 36th-minute goal to level the game for a third time.

They lost their captain Ruth Bermingham to the sin-bin in the 43rd minute and Fermanagh took advantage with four unanswered points, that included three from Smyth, to put them two ahead, 1-9 to 1-7, with eight minutes remaining.

A Sawyer point left the minimum between them with six minutes still to play.

The next score came three minutes into added time, Smyth putting Fermanagh two points ahead again, 1-10 to 1-8, but it was a dangerous lead as O’Neill found the back of the net to snatch victory for Carlow that has not just given them a chance of silverware when they face Limerick (2-10 to 1-11 winners over Leitrim) in the league semi-final in two weeks’ time, but has sent them up to Division Three for next season.

Division One, round seven

ARMAGH will face Kerry in the final at Croke Park on Sunday, April 7.

Armagh were already safely through before Saturday’s clash with Dublin and will now face off against the reigning champions Kerry in the top-flight showpiece.

Kerry booked their place in the final with a 2-11 to 0-12 win over Galway in Killarney. Leading by 1-3 to 0-5 at the break thanks to a goal from Danielle O’Leary, the holders held off an improved Galway side with Hannah O’Donoghue getting their second goal to seal the win.

Galway will now face Waterford in a refixed game which was postponed last week due to weather, with the losers making the drop to Division Two.

Waterford went down by 2-9 to 2-6 to Mayo in Ballina. Fionnuala McLaughlin got both goals for Mayo, while Lauren McGregor got 2-2 for Waterford but it wasn’t enough.

Cork will play in Division Two next year for the first time since 2003 after suffering their sixth loss of the campaign when they went down by double scores to Meath on a 2-14 to 1-7 scoreline.

Emma Duggan scored 0-7 for Meath, five of them from play while Marion Farrelly and Shelly Melia got the goals.

On Saturday, Dublin ousted an understrength Armagh side by 7-10 to 1-4 to keep their hopes of a place in the final alive, but Kerry killed them off with their win over Galway.

Results Dublin 7-10 Armagh 1-4; Mayo 2-9 Waterford 2-6; Meath 2-14 Cork 1-7; Kerry 2-11 Galway 0-12

Division Two, round seven

KILDARE and Tyrone were already assured of a final place at Croke Park on April 7 ahead of the final round of group fixtures.

Both sides finished with victories, with Kildare defeating Westmeath by 2-9 to 1-7, while Tyrone overcame Cavan by 1-10 to 1-5.

Donegal were single-point winners against Tipperary with Katy Herron and Niamh McLaughlin finding the net. Monaghan ensured their Division Two status as they were big winners against Laois by 3-18 to 0-6.

At the bottom of the table, it will be Cavan who join Laois in Division Three next season, a five-point defeat to Tyrone confirming their relegation.

Results Donegal 2-8 Tipperary 3-4; Tyrone 1-10 Cavan 1-5; Kildare 2-9 Westmeath 1-7; Monaghan 3-18 Laois 0-6

Division Three, round seven

CLARE and Roscommon were already through to a final at Grant Heating St Brendan’s Park in Birr on Saturday, April 6, and all eyes were focused on the battle for survival.

After both were defeated this afternoon, Antrim and Sligo will be playing Division Four football next year.

Roscommon defeated Antrim by 4-6 to 1-14 and with the final to come, ended their round games at the top of the table. However, defeat for Antrim also sees them relegated, just a season after promotion.

Down ended their league on a high as they defeated finalists Clare.

Meanwhile, Offaly were big winners over Wexford while Louth also came up with a big performance, defeating Sligo by 2-12 to 2-7, ensuring the Wee county’s safety and relegating Sligo.

Results Down 0-11 Clare 1-5; Louth 2-12 Sligo 2-7; Offaly 3-7 Wexford 0-10; Roscommon 4-6 Antrim 1-14