Louth 2-07 Armagh 0-06.
Louth produced a magnificent team performance in Monaghan Harps GAA on Wednesday night (10th July), to qualify for the All Ireland C final, when in a keenly contested game they defeated a very skillful and well drilled Armagh side by seven points.
They now meet Sligo in the All Ireland final on Wednesday July 24 the after the Connacht Champions beat Clare in the other semi-final.
Before a large vociferous crowd which traveled to the north Monaghan venue, the game was played on a greasy surface with showers before and during the game. The Orchard girls started the better and dominated the opening few minutes, but only had a single point to show for it.
Louth eventually worked themselves into the game and were soon level courtesy of a Mia Duffy free. While Armagh went back in front it was not long before the Wee County took a lead they would not surrender when after a good forward move straight off the training field, Abi Keenan’s fine pass found Ellen McBride who palmed the ball to the net.
Soon after Keenan was on the end of another great move and when she got the pass from Rachel Leonard, she calmly slotted the ball in to the bottom corner of the net. Louth added a further three points to their tally in the opening half with Mia Duffy, Ava Briscoe & Roisin Maguire all on target to lead by 2-4 to 0-3 at the interval. Indeed, Louth could have been further ahead at the interval but a long-range Mia Duffy free which went all the way to the net was disallowed due to a square ball infringement.
While the Ulster side opened the second half with an early point, Louth responded strongly with points from impressive midfielder Mia Duffy (2) and a wonderful effort from Rachel Leonard
Armagh desperately needed a goal and applied considerable pressure on the Louth defence but could find no way past a well organised backline.
Indeed, it was the Leinster champions who came closest to snatching a major late on when substitute Katie Conlon unfortunately lost her footing on the wet ground after being set up by fellow replacement Sarah Gilmore.
Louth; Rebecca Lambe Fagan, Amy farrell, Caitlin o Reilly (capt), Aine Carolan; Ella McEntaggert, Kelly Carolan, Louise Johnson; Sophie Turley, Mia Duffy (0-4); Ava Briscoe (0-1), Rachel Leonard (0-1), Roisin Maguire (0-1); Abi Keenan (1-0), Ellen McBride (1-0), and Seona Halligan.
Subs; Sarah Gilmore for Ellen McBride, Laoise McIlroy for Ava Briscoe, Alice Ferguson for Seona Halligan, Emily Johnson for Louise Johnson and Katie Conlon for Abi Keenan. Subs unused; Kerry Ann D’arcy, Rachel Hynes, Caoimhe Crichton, Kaylin Nugent, Evelyn Donnolly, Neasa Reilly, Kate Kelly & Caoimhe Boyle.
Armagh; Megan Kinney, Aobh McGleenan, Anna McStay, Ellie Rice, Roisin Mulligan, Caoimhe Dooley, Clodagh Gaffney, Maeve Ferguson, Caitlian McCormack, Hannah Duffy, Caitriona O’Hagan, Maeve Lennon, Kiana Donnelly, Aine McKearney, Grainne Boylan.
Subs used: Eimear McConaghey, Ella Reid, Aine Rice, Lucy Duffy.
Report by Dermot Woods | Photos by Warren Matthews