Armagh flying high in Lidl NFL as Cavan revive their Division Two hopes
LIDL LADIES NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
ARMAGH and Tipperary have opened up a three-point gap at the top of the Division Two table but it’s very much all to play for with the league approaching the halfway mark.
The league’s eight counties are not in action this weekend but when round four comes around next week there are some interesting derbies and crucial points up for grabs.
Armagh made it three wins from three with a 10-point win, 1-13 to 1-3, over Monaghan, while Tipperary also kept up their winning start with a 0-6 to 0-4 defeat of Roscommon.
Cavan’s 2-8 to 3-4 win over Westmeath has really shaken the table up as the Breffni county recorded their first win of the campaign and moved off the bottom of the table, where Roscommon now sit.
The win for Gerry Moane’s side puts them on three points along with Monaghan, Tyrone and Westmeath. Laois are on six with Armagh and Tipperary on nine points.
Cavan trailed 1-2 to 1-0 at half-time, Ciara Finnegan’s goal their only score of the opening period.
They took the lead for the first time when Aisling Sheridan reacted first to a high ball into the square to fire to the back of the net. Four points in-a-row – Lauren McVeety with frees either side of Aisling Gilsenan and Niamh Keenaghan efforts, saw them move 2-5 to 1-3 in front but an Aoife Connolly goal brought Westmeath back to within two points with a quarter of the game remaining.
Cavan were two in front when substitute Clara Thornton’s speculative effort found the top corner to move them ahead 3-4 to 2-6 in the 60th minute.
A Gilsenan free brought the sides level and the same player kept her nerve to point a 64th-minute free and bag three vital points for the Ulster side.
Tyrone led Laois by eight points late in the first half at Crettyard but found themselves on the end of a 3-8 to 3-7 defeat.
Sean O’Kane’s side dominated the opening 30 minutes and as half-time approached were 2-5 to 0-3 ahead, Maria Canavan with 1-3 including a penalty.
However, two goals – the first from Eva Galvin and then Erone Fitzpatrick – saw Tyrone’s advantage cut to three at the break 2-6 to 2-3 and buoyed by that and with the wind at their backs, Laois kicked on in the second half.
Mo Nerney tied the game with a fisted goal for the first score of the second half before Fitzpatrick gave the home side the lead for the first time.
Canavan popped up with a point for Tyrone to reduce Laois’ advantage to the minimum, 3-5 to 2-7, but three points without reply put Laois four up.
Chloe McCaffrey tucked away a second Tyrone penalty in the dying minutes to leave it a one-point game but time ran out as they searched for the equaliser.
Eight of the 10 first-half scores in the Armagh-Monaghan game at Middletown came in the opening 12 minutes with the home side leading 1-6 to 1-0.
Captain Kelly Mallon hit four of those points with Alex Clarke finding the back of the net in the 12th minute. Monaghan’s fourth-minute goal, which brought the sides level 0-3 to 1-0, was courtesy of Chloe McBride.
Scores dried up after Clarke’s goal, with the next points coming in injury-time through Mallon and Blaithin Mackin to give Armagh a 1-8 to 1-0 half-time lead.
Half-time substitute Aimee Mackin opened the second-half scoring and her sister Blaithin followed suit.
McBride got Monaghan’s first point in the 42nd minute with Mallon taking her tally six points. Jodie McQuillan converted two frees for the visitors before Aimee Mackin finished up with two points from frees for a convincing 10-point win for Shane McCormack’s side.
IT was the proverbial game of two halves in Enniscorthy and a huge win for Down who inflicted a first league defeat on Wexford.
The home side. last year’s beaten league finalists, were 1-4 to 0-3 ahead at half-time. They hit all their scores without reply after Natasha Ferris had opened Down’s account in the third minute.
Wexford had to wait until the 13th minute to open their scoring but Sarah Harding-Kenny’s 15th-minute goal gave them the lead. Viv McCormick and Ferris grabbed two crucial injury-time points to keep Peter Lynch’s side in the game at the break.
Wexford would fail to add to their tally in the second half and five unanswered points saw Down clinch victory.
A trio of points from Ferris, including two frees, put them within one point with a quarter of the game remaining.
The next score did not come until the 60th minute when Niamh King converted a free and from the resulting play, Ferris pounced on a poor kick-out and found McCormick who was fouled.
King kept her nerve and sent over the free for a super victory.
The win takes Down into third spot on six points, ahead of Wexford by virtue of beating them. Both sides trail joint-leaders Kildare and Louth, who have 100 per cent records.
Down’s next game is against Longford and it’s one they can certainly take three points from with a top-two place a possibility.