Ladies beaten by Armagh in NFL opener

Ladies NFL Round 1

Armagh 2-8

Cavan 0-5

Cavan ladies slipped to a loss against Armagh when the sides met on Sunday last in O’Connell Park, Milltown in the opening round of the Division 2 league.

At half-time, the visitors led by double scores, 0-6 to 0-3, but were still very much in the game. However, second-half goals from Aoife McCoy and Aoife Lennon saw Armagh pull away against a Cavan side who struggled to make inroads on the scoreboard.

The Breffni side are in transition at present, with a lot of new faces having broken through in the past three seasons, and the greater experience and firepower of the Orchard, led by the Mackin sisters, proved too much on the day.

Cavan actually started well and were ahead by 0-2 to 0-1 after nine minutes following points from Lauren McVeety and Aisling Gilsenan, who supplied the finish after a great team move after Aimee Mackin had opened Armagh’s account.

Blaithin Mackin ans Kelly Mackin (two frees) made it 0-3 to 0-2 and although Gilsenan responded with a free, scores from Alex Clarke – after Aimee Mackin hit the crossbar – and Aimee herself saw Armagh lead by 0-6 to 0-3 at the interval.

The third quarter belonged to Armagh, who tacked on a flurry of scores which put the game out of Cavan’s reach. Kelly Mallon and Aimee Mackin raised white flags before McCoy got in for the game’s first goal.

And when Aoife Lennon rattled the net again in the 45th minute after a free dropped short, Armagh were 2-8 to 0-3 ahead and had the points effectively wrapped up.

To their credit, Cavan battled away and a McVeety free and a point from play by Ally Cahill concluded the scoring as the away team ran out nine-point victors.

There were some positives to take from Cavan, who fielded a young side and handed out starting debuts to Ciara Brady, Christina Charters and Catherine Aherne and also introduced two debutantes from the bench in Cara Maguire and Deirbhile Lynch.

Defensivly, Cavan were quite sound, only conceding 10 scores over the hour and holding Armagh scoreless in the final quarter. However, the home side did not work the ball out of defence well and Armagh’s kicking game looked superior on the day in that regard.

The result was that the Cavan full-forward line were living off scraps and often had to come deep for possession; in contrast, Armagh were able to deliver the ball quickly and accurately with the foot, starting with goalkeeper Anna Carr, whose long kick-outs were a feature of the game.

Cavan had three goal chances over the course of the game and will be hoping for improvement when they take on Tipperary away in round two this Sunday.

Cavan: Elaine Walsh (Killygarry), Shauna Lynch (Crosserlough), Ciara Brady (Lurgan), Christina Charters (Crosserlough), Annie Deneher (Mullahoran), Neasa Byrd (Crosserlough), Erin Longair (Drumlane), Ally Cahill (Killygarry), Niamh Keenaghan (Laragh United), Aisling Walls (Killygarry), Lauren McVeety (Crosserlough), Kerri McCormack (Kingscourt), Catherine Aherne (Drumgoon), Aishling Sheridan (Mullahoran), Aisling Gilsenan (Munterconnaught/Mountnugent)

Subs: Cara Maguire, Deirbhile Lynch, Cara McCaffrey, Ciara Finnegan

Armagh: Anna Carr, Shauna Grey, Clodagh McCambridge, Louise Kenny, Grace Ferguson, Lauren McConville, Cait Towe, Niamh Coleman, Eve Lavery, Blaithin Mackin, Aimee Mackin, Emily Druse, Alex Clarke, Kelly Mallon, Aoife McCoy

Subs: Aoife Lennon (0-1)