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O'Hanlon lifts Armagh to a new high

 

By John Campbell

They may have shipped a heavy blow in going under to Donegal by a landslide margin in the recent Ulster Championship final, but Armagh regained more than a semblance of pride and self-belief at the weekend when they held vastly-experienced Monaghan to a draw in Group 1 Round 1 of the All-Ireland Football Championship.

It was the inspirational Caroline O'Hanlon who helped to mastermind what was a much-needed pick-me-up for the Orchard County by contributing a fistful of points to their 1-11 total which was matched by their opponents. O'Hanlon and her colleagues certainly had to dig deep before they earned their division of the spoils. Monaghan led by 1-6 to 0-4 at the half-way stage thanks in the main to Rosemary Courtney's goal while Ciara McAnespie led the way in her team's points haul.

But Armagh found new reserves of energy and in the third quarter O'Hanlon, Lauren McConville and Blaithin Mackin stood tall as they trimmed back the Farney county's advantage. Mackin's goal proved a vital score and indeed Monaghan were forced to rely on a late point from Ellen McCarron to eventually claim stalemate at 1-11 each.

Cavan, meanwhile, must still be wondering how they lost to a weakened Mayo side by 3-23 to 4-13. No fewer than 10 Mayo players defected from the squad last week but their depleted side rose to the occasion by bringing hunger and resilience to the table to come out on top.

But Antrim and Derry tasted defeat in the All-Ireland Junior Championship with the Saffrons losing to Louth by 3-17 to 1-9 while the Oak Leaf side were pipped by Carlow (2-9 to 1-11).

In the All-Ireland Intermediate Camogie Championship Cork beat Down by 0-18 to 0-6, while Derry battled grimly to earn a deserved draw against Laois.

The midland county scored 2-8 while the Oak Leaf girls racked up 0-14.

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