National Camogie League: Armagh see off Roscommon to seal Division Three final spot as Tyrone make Division Four decider
Very Ireland National Camogie League Division 3A semi-finals: Armagh 1-14 Roscommon 1-6; Carlow 2-12 Kildare 0-4
ARMAGH are safely through to their fourth national final since collecting the 2020 All-Ireland Premier Junior crown – although for a period in the first half at Inniskeen it looked as if Roscommon were going to put it up to the Orchard ladies.
Ciarrai Devlin was busy enough between the sticks and saved her team on several occasions. But as the game wore on, the work-rate of Shelly McGuigan stood out and the defence rallied around the steady play of Aisling Harvey to set up a final with Carlow who had beaten Kildare earlier on Saturday.
Roscommon drew first blood with a point from play from Caitríona Regan and the same player added two more scores as the westerners took a 0-3 to 0-2 lead after ten minutes.
Eimear Smyth then opened her account with a point and Shelly McGuigan shot two more quick fire points before Smyth found the net in the 13th minute.
The five-point lead didn’t last long, however, as Anna Campbell hit back with a goal for Roscommon two minutes later. From then until half-time there wasn’t quite as much scoring, but Armagh tagged on three points and led by 1-8 to 1-4 at the break.
They also opened the second half with three points inside three minutes, from a Smyth free, Shelly McGuigan and sub Rachel Merry. Roscommon were now facing a huge hill.
They came back with two scores from Shauna Fallon before the end of the third quarter, but Armagh contained their attacks and added three points over the final 20 minutes.
In the first of the semi-finals played in Abbottstown at midday, second-half goals from Breege Nolan and Emma Cody propelled Carlow to a 2-12 to 0-4 win over their neighbours Kildare.
It means that the two unbeaten sides in the division will collide in the final on Easter Saturday.
Armagh: C Devlin, S Woods, T Maguire, N Woods, A Crilly, A Harvey, C Crilly, K Comiskey (0-2), L Donnelly, J Curry (0-1), M McGuigan (0-3), E McKee (0-1), S Quinn (0-1), E Smyth (1-4, 0-1 free), É Lennon.
Subs: R Merry for S Quinn (29), C Doyle for É Lennon (49), G McCann for K Comiskey (56).
Roscommon: M Fallon, S Hanley, O Connolly, M Carty, S Dooley, S Bolger, C Whyte-Lennon, D Regan, R Fitzmaurice, S Fallon (0-2, 1 free), C Regan (0-3), S Mannion, A Campbell (1-0), T Naughton, S Finneran
Sub: N Fitzgerald for S Finneran (23).
Very Ireland national camogie league Division 3B: Clare 3-9 Dublin 0-11; Limerick 3-14 Offaly 2-4
THERE was a shock in the top of the table clash in Meelick where Clare continued their unbeaten run against a Dublin side that had enjoyed landslide wins in each of their previous games.
Clare led by a goal at half-time (2-5 to 0-8) but opened the gap further during the third quarter with a third goal and four points. Dublin simply couldn’t close that gap and they now come north on April 8th for a crunch game with Antrim.
Whoever wins that tie will go through to meet Clare in the divisional final a week later.
Limerick’s had an easy victory over Offaly in the other game in the group. Clare should remain unbeaten when they meet Offaly in their remaining game in a fortnight.
Very Ireland National Camogie League Division Four semi-finals: Tyrone 1-24 Louth 2-5; Mayo 2-12 Wicklow 4-3
THERE were no shocks in the Very Ireland Division Four semi-finals with Tyrone recovering from a heavy defeat last week against Armagh to comfortably see off Louth in the opening game at Inniskeen on Saturday.