Armagh pushed all the way by determined Cavan in Ulster intermediate semi-final

Ciara Donnelly's extra-time goal helped Armagh to victory over Cavan in their Ulster intermediate championship semi-final Picture: Inpho

Ulster Intermediate Camogie Championship semi-final: Armagh 1-16 Cavan 1-12 (aet)

ARMAGH never looked like winning this Ulster intermediate semi-final in Granemore until it went to extra-time. Even then they saw a four-point lead disappear before recovering to reach their second final in succession.

Cavan will feel that this was a game that got away from them. They dominated the first half, but only managed to turn around with a four-point lead at the break as they passed up on a series of scoring opportunities.

Even when Armagh came back at them during the second half they kept their shape and composure and took the game to their opponents before a short puck-out was snapped up by Bernie Murray who forced extra-time.

Clodagh Keenaghan was the star of the opening half, shooting the first five points and then setting up Ciara Finnegan for the next two as Cavan took a 0-7 to 0-2 lead after 24 minutes. Their defence was dominant during that period and they should have added to their total recording five wides, all from scoring positions.

Bernie Murray hit an Armagh point just before the break and on the restart Armagh began in determined fashion with a free from Rachael Merry and two points from Ciara Donnelly reducing the deficit to a single point after 33 minutes.

Cavan, however, dug in and Clodagh Keenaghan lifted the siege with her sixth point. Shanise Fitzsimons and Merry swapped points from frees, before Clodagh Keenaghan set younger sister Niamh up for a point.

However, Merry, from a free and then from play reduced the lead to a single point with 53 minutes gone. Both teams had chances during the remaining 13 minutes of play, but the only score came from a mistake as Murray sent the game into extra-time.

Again Armagh opened strongly and three points from Merry and another from Murray put them in control at the break.

The Fitzsimons sisters, however, hit back at the start of the second half, Hannah with a point and then Shanise’s free found Clodagh Keenaghan inside the defence and the midfielder picked her spot to level the game at 1-11 to 0-14.

Armagh to their credit responded brilliantly with a well worked point from Eimear Smyth before Ciara Donnelly crashed the sliotar off the underside of the crossbar for a goal and this time there was no way back for the Breffni girls.

Armagh: C Devlin; A Harvey, N Woods, E Lavery; L Toner, G McWilliams, G McCann; S McArdle, L Donnelly; C Hill, B Murray (0-2), S Kiernan; R Merry (0-7, 0-5 frees), C Donnelly (1-4, 0-2 frees), E Smyth (0-2).

Subs: K Convie for S Kiernan (40), S Curry for G McCann (43), E Hayes for A Harvey (45), O Curry for L Toner (58), C Beagan for L Donnelly (60 +4)

Cavan: L Bambrick; L Ellis, A Coyle, C Clarke; N Keenaghan (0-1), E Galligan, C Finnegan (0-2); R Crowe-McKeever, C Keenaghan (1-6, 0-1 free); A O’Reilly, T O’Reilly, S Fitzsimons (0-1 free); N Reilly, S McKenna (0-1 free), O Smith.

Subs: E Brady for O Smith (40), H Fitzsimons 0-1 for S McKenna (55), E Fitzpatrick for E Brady (70)

Referee: EP Cassidy (Derry)

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