Hurling and camogie

Donnelly sisters fire Armagh into last four of Premier Junior Championship

Armagh captain Ciara Donnelly led by example with 12 points in her side's win over Limerick
BY SEAMAS McALEENAN

All-Ireland Premier Junior Championship quarter-finals: Armagh 1-16 Limerick 3-8; Roscommon 2-11 Cavan 1-8

ARMAGH won the Premier Junior title last year because of the accuracy of the Donnelly sisters. The pair did the business yet again for their county in this tight quarter-final in Kinnegad on Saturday.

Ciara Donnelly is this year’s Armagh captain and she definitely led from the front, shooting 12 points including the last two that saw her team recover from a Valerie Shanaghan goal in the 49th minute of an absorbing tie.

In the early stages Armagh looked to be on the ropes as goals from Michelle Curtin and Íde Cunningham gave Limerick a 2-3 to 0-1 lead after just nine minutes of play – and that after Donnelly had opened the scoring.

A point from Eimear Smyth slowed Limerick’s scoring spree, but they were still 2-4 to 0-4 ahead at the water-break. Limerick knocked over two more points after the water break, but points from Ciara Hill and Ciara Donnelly closed the gap before Leanne Donnelly smashed the ball to the back of the net with the last play of the first half to make to leave it 2-7 to 1-7 at the break.

The Armagh defence and Ciara Donnelly turned in an excellent third quarter and the holders led by 1-13 to 2-7 at the second water break with the Eglish forward hitting six unanswered points, from play, from frees, and she even kicked one over.

The Shanaghan goal put Limerick a point up entering the home straight. But after Ciara Hill drove over the levelling score, her captain pointed twice from frees and Armagh were able to hold on to secure a semi-final spot.

Meanwhile two goals from Leah Rowe ensured that Roscommon were always able to keep last year’s beaten finalists Cavan at arm’s length. The sides were level on 0-5 apiece when she struck for the first after 29 minutes and a Shauna Fallon point from a free had it 1-6 to 0-5 at half-time.

Clodagh Keenaghan and Fallon exchanged three points each in a tight encounter but Fallon and Niamh Watson opened the gap to six when Rowe nabbed her second major in the 60th minute.

There was still time for Lorna Cahill to hit back with a green flag for Cavan, but Roscommon had done enough to advance.

Nancy Murray Cup semi-final: Tyrone 1-11 Wicklow 0-8

TYRONE are back in the Nancy Murray Cup final. Last year’s finalists always had the upper-hand in Saturday evening’s encounter at Inniskeen, but they were never far enough ahead to be safe.

Dual players Grainne Rafferty and Reagan Fay were in action against Cavan in the relegation play-off and the pair went straight to the Monaghan venue with Fay scoring the first point. Both went on to turn in good performances to make up for the footballers’ loss.

Fay added three more points in the opening half with Casey Gallagher and Niamh McNulty also contributing as Tyrone built up a 0-9 to 0-5 lead by the break.

Shortly after the re-start Eglish star Fay fired home a goal for the Red Hands who then were put under a lot of pressure by Wicklow. But their defence knuckled down and points from Róisín McErlean and Fay on the break set up a final against Mayo next week

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Hurling and camogie