Ladies All-Ireland SFC: Armagh fall to quarter-final defeat by Meath at Clones

Emma Duggan hit 1-5 for Meath, who will face Cork in the semi-final
Emma Duggan hit 1-5 for Meath, who will face Cork in the semi-final

Armagh's All-Ireland campaign was ended despite the scoring prowess of Aimee Mackin as they fell to a 3-15 to 1-14 defeat by Meath at Clones.

While Mackin scored 1-6, the Orchard County were unable to recover a seven-point half-time deficit.

Emma Duggan, who hit 1-5, and Niamh O'Sullivan's first-half goals put the Royals in a strong position at the break before Emma Troy's second-half effort helped seal a stylish win.

Meath will face Cork in the semi-final.

The game began at a rapid pace with Meath enjoying a fruitful opening quarter, dominating possession and attacking almost at will.

Vikki Wall opened the scoring for Meath before Kelly Mallon grabbed the first of three first-half frees to level the game.

Orlagh Lally doubled Meath's advantage, before a perfectly timed pass from Wall gave Duggan the space to slot the ball into the back of Anna Carr's net.

A long-range Duggan free coupled with a fine Bridgetta Lynch point ensured Meath took a commanding 1-4 to 0-1 lead into the first-half water break.

Meath then hit 1-1 in the space of 60 seconds to open up a commanding lead. Aoibhin Cleary split the posts and the resulting kick out was captured by the Royals; Orla Byrne found O'Sullivan and she found the back of the net.

Aimee Mackin's 1-6 was not enough to secure the Orchard County's semi-final berth
Aimee Mackin's 1-6 was not enough to secure the Orchard County's semi-final berth

This seemed to spur Armagh into attack and three points inside two minutes brought the deficit back to seven as Aimee Mackin hit two points either side of a fine effort from Alexandra Clarke.

Meath were patient in their build up and were rewarded with a point from Stacey Grimes and a second point from Lally. However, two Mallon frees ensured Armagh stayed seven points adrift at the half-time whistle.

The teams traded scores when the second half resumed with little to separate the sides. Duggan, Lally, O'Sullivan and Grimes all struck for Meath in the third quarter, while Eve Lavery and three Aimee Mackin points kept Armagh in touch.

Blathin Mackin scored a long-range point just before the second-half water break to trim the gap back to seven points, but Troy eased the pressure on Meath when she found the net moments later.

Meath were reduced to 14 players for the final eight minutes when Lynch was sin binned and Aimee Mackin hit the net four minutes from time, but Meath held their nerve in the closing stages to book a historic semi-final place.

Scorers

Meath: E Duggan 1-5 (3f), N O'Sullivan 1-1, E Troy 1-0, O Lally 0-3, S Grimes 0-3 (1f), A Cleary 0-1, V Wall 0-1, B Lynch 0-1.

Armagh: A Mackin 1-6 (1f), K Mallon 0-3 (3f), G Ferguson 0-1, E Lavery 0-1, B Mackin 0-1, A Clarke 0-1, N Reel 0-1.

Teams

Armagh: A Carr, S Marley, C McCambridge, G Ferguson, E Lavery, L McConville, T Grimes, K Mallon (c), N Coleman, B Mackin, N Marley, F McKenna, A Mackin, A McCoy, A Clarke.

Subs: C Marley for Coleman (16), N Reel for S Marley (half time), M Sheridan for Lavery (38), E Druse for McKenna (44).

Meath: M McGuirk, E Troy, MK Lynch, K Newe, A Leahy, A Cleary, S Ennis, O Lally, M O'Shaughnessy, O Byrne, S Grimes, N O'Sullivan, V Wall, E Duggan, B Lynch.

Subs: M Thynne for O Byrne (43), N Gallogly for Leahy (46), S Melia for O'Sullivan (56).