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Armagh up for the cup as skipper steals show

Armagh 6-19 Tyrone 2-9

By John Campbell

A scintillating display by skipper and midfield ace Ciara Donnelly underpinned this convincing Armagh victory in yesterday's Ulster Intermediate Camogie Championship Final at the Athletic Grounds.

Donnelly was the catalyst for Armagh's pronounced first-half performance and she then steered her side smoothly through the second period during which they cemented their authority against a Red Hands side that were unable to match their opponents.

Early goals from Donnelly and Rachel Merry helped to set the tone for a sustained spell of Armagh dominance with Tyrone, under pressure at the back and uncertain up front, unable to make any impact.

With Michelle McGuigan and Ciara Hayes also prominent in attack, the home side sustained their onslaught but it was Donnelly and Merry who inflicted most damage on Tyrone as they each helped themselves to further goals to leave Armagh 4-9 to 0-7 ahead at the interval.

A Kelly Fay goal in the 35th minute provided a ray of hope for the visitors but this was quickly cancelled out when Hayes and McGuigan pounced for opportunist goals that piloted the home side into an unassailable lead.

Hayes, indeed, contributed three points for the winners with McGuigan and Donnelly spearheading a late points blitz that demolished Tyrone's last vestiges of resistance.

It was a delighted Ciara Donnelly who took the Player of the Match award and also received the trophy on behalf of her team.

"This win means an awful lot to us. Tyrone put it up to us for spells but I think the girls showed tremendous courage and spirit. We must try and move on from this - it's a great stepping stone," said the Orchard County skipper.

Armagh scorers: C Donnelly 2-9, R Merry 2-4, M McGuigan 1-2, C Hayes 1-1, C Hill 0-3.

Tyrone scorers: E McAliskey 1-4, K Fay 1-1, N McNulty 0-2, O O'Neill 0-1, E Fitzgerald 0-1.

Referee: Grainne Coulter (Down).

Belfast Telegraph


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