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Armagh Camogs Survive Titanic Battle


Armagh 2-9 Westmeath 2-7


The prescription was a must win if Armagh Senior camogs were to survive in the All Ireland Nancy Murray Cup Competition on Saturday. Westmeath had a point advantage before taking the field and a drawn game was all that they needed. Home advantage in Ballymacnab was a bonus to the Armagh Senior camogie team and management.


Paula Mallon put the opening score on the board. Westmeath retaliated immediately with a long range point from Andrea Martin. The scene was set of the intentions of both teams no one was giving in easily. Joanne Walsh’s goal put Westmeath in the driving seat. A crafty pass up the right wing from Geraldine Curry to Bernie Murray to Captain Joanne Mallon, to younger sister Paula who sent the sliothar over the bar from a very difficult angle.


The pace was fast and furious and Armagh spluttered on occasions giving away easy scoring opportunities. Annette Heffernan’s accuracy with free taking added another three points and there was trouble ahead for Armagh when Denise McGrath bagged Westmeath’s second gaol. Things could only improve. Laura Gribben’s clearance from defence was capitalised on by Niamah McGeown.


Young Ciara Donnelly’s pass to Andrea McAlinden was collected by sharp shooter Colette McSorley and sent over the bar. It was the score of hope for Armagh. On the half time whistle Joanne Walsh added another point to Westmeath’s tally to give her team an eight point lead at the interval. Armagh 0-3 Westmeath 2-5.


Neither the rain nor the deficit of eight points deterred the Armagh Senior Camogie Team and management. A good team talk and the introduction of Michaela King and Cathy Smith saw a confident team recommence the match. A fiercely worked forward line resulted in a point from Colette McSorley’s affirming Armagh‘s intentions. Every sliothar was fought for with passion, pride and determination. Bernie Murray was in superb form and causing havoc for the visitors in every position on the pitch.


Colette McSorley took control at full forward and made no mistake with the surperb advancing tactics of her colleagues. A quickly taken free began the erosion of the eight point deficit. Colette executed another point after tremendous heroine efforts from Bernie Murray, Ciara Donnelly, Grainne Kelly, Cathy Smith, Paula Mallon and Captain Joanne Mallon. The visitors pressurised Armagh‘s defence.


Colleen Comiskey was superb in nets. Anne McGuigan,, Patrice Murphy, Emma Farrell, Michaela King Caoimha McKenna and Laura Gribben stood firm to all advancing attacks. Bernie Murray and Niamah McGeown kept the middle of the field swept clean.


Colette McSorley made no mistake when the opportunity arose and to the delight of her team mates, management and supporters rattled home a great goal. Armagh was now only three points a drift and in total control. Westmeath refused to give in and applied severe pressure on the Orchard defence. Ann McGuigan was solid as a rock in full back. Colleen Comiskey kept control at the helm in gaols and her puck outs were superb. Up front Cathy Smith, Grainne Kelly and Ciara Donnelly constantly harassed and threatened. Bernie Murray was sheer magic in the middle of the field.


Westmeath’s defence denied Armagh scores but Colette McSorley converted two long range frees. A point divided the sides, a place in the play offs at stake and a win a must for Armagh to survive.


Annette Hefferman pointed for Westmeath from a close in free. As time ticked away the pressure mounted. Neither sides were letting go of trying to secure a position in the semi finals. Caoimhe McKenna, Emma Farrell, Michaela King and Laura Gribben foiled a Westmeath raid. Bernie Murray went on the run and was awarded a deserving free on the halfway line. Colette McSorley stepped up to the task and unbelievably dropped the sliothar over the heads of the visitors defence into the top left hand corner of the net.


Armagh was in front for the first time of the game. With six minutes remaining Annette Heffernan equalised with a point from a free. A draw would keep Westmeath in the competition. Cullyhanna’s Bernie Murray was not settling for an exit on a drawn game. She led from the middle of the pitch winning and supplying balls to the forwards placing the Westmeath defence under severe pressure. It was Colette McSorley’s strength and ability that put Armagh ahead with a well taken point.


The visitors applied mighty pressure to try to score an equaliser. Great teamwork throughout the park by the Armagh calini denied any chance of an equalising score. The Armagh camogs showed courage, determination and commitment in the dying minutes. Colette McSorley had the final say on evicting Westmeath and their hopes of progression in the All Ireland Nancy Murray Cup with another classic point from a well taken free.


The final whistle sounded to the delight of the Armagh camp.


Scorers Armagh Paula Mallon 0-2, Colette McSorley 2-7 (3 frees, 1×45).

Westmeath Joanne Walsh 1-1, Andrea Martin 0-1, Anette Heffernan 0-5 (frees) and Denise McGrath 1-0.


A classic finish to a fantastic game of camogie, between the great teams of Armagh and Westmeath. Well done to Ballymacnab GFC and St. Brenda’s Camogie Club on hosting the match, as always the welcome and hospitality was fabulous. Tyrone defeated Kildare 2-7 to 1-3. Armagh possibly meet Tyrone in the semi final. Watch this space.


Armagh: Colleen Comiskey Keady, Patrice Murphy Keady, Ann McGuigan iddletown, Geraldine Curry Tullysarron, Emma Farrell Derrynoose, Laura Gribben Ballymacnab, Caoimha McKenna Derrynoose, Bernir Murray Cullyhanna, Niamh McGeown Derrymacash, Joanne Mallon Capt. Middletown, Grainne Kelly Granemore, Ciara Donnelly Granemore, Paula Mallon Middletown, Colette McSorley Tullysarron, Andrea McAlinden Derrymacash, Cathy Smith Granemore, Michaela King Ballymacnab, Cala Mullen St. Brigid’s, Aoibheann Donaldson Crossmaglen, Nicola McGeown Ballymacnab, Grace Donaghy St. Brigid’s, Colleen O’Hare Granemore.


Westmeath: Fiona Keating, Emma Martin, Sandra Greville, Deidre McInearney, Sarah King, Kate Gilpin, Aisling Conaty, Elaine Finn, Andrea Martin, Fiona Leary, Annette Heffernan, Lisa Burke, Deidre O’Donovan, Denise McGrath, Joanne Walsh and Maria Smyth



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