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McCaffrey ready for a bigger test after Armagh sail into decider

 

Quick start: Aoife McCoy scored a goal after 17 seconds
Quick start: Aoife McCoy scored a goal after 17 seconds
John Campbell

By John Campbell

Armagh booked a place in the Ulster Senior Ladies Football Championship final against either Donegal or Cavan in emphatic fashion at the Athletic Grounds last night when they beat Monaghan by 5-14 to 1-12.

The home side surged into an early lead with a goal from Aoife McCoy after just 17 seconds and landed a second after 15 minutes which helped them into a 2-8 to 0-1 interval lead.

But Monaghan responded in the third quarter when a Cora Courtney goal and five points from her sister Rosemary helped the side accumulate 1-6.

Armagh, though, seized the initiative once again and when Eve Lavery slammed in their third goal this paved the way for a period of dominance that saw McCoy grab her second goal. Blaithin Mackin subsequently slotted in Armagh's fifth goal.

Armagh joint manager Lorraine McCaffrey said: "We know Donegal are in fine form at the moment given the manner in which they beat Tyrone and Cavan are an improving side who have ambitions of moving on.

"While it was encouraging to knock up a big score we will certainly not find scores easy to come by in the final irrespective of who we might be meeting."

Donegal, meanwhile, proved too strong for Tyrone in winning by 3-13 to 2-12 to reach the last four although their margin of victory did not fully reflect their superiority, a fact acknowledged by their skipper Karen Guthrie.

"Tyrone made it difficult for us at times and we maybe did not make the most of scoring chances," said Guthrie.

Geraldine McLaughlin proved the winners' scorer-in-chief with 2-4. Guthrie landed six points while Niamh Hegarty pounced for Donegal's second goal.

Tyrone produced a lively finish with Aoibhinn McGirr slamming in their second goal after Maria Canavan's first, but Donegal still managed to close out the game.

Tyrone manager Gerry Moane said: "We will have gained in experience from this defeat and maybe it will stand to us in the long run."

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