Posted: 2 weeks ago

Player of the match Blaithin Mackin reaction and photo gallery as Armagh defeat Mayo in TG4 All Ireland senior quarter-final

Blaithín Mackin of Armagh is presented with the Player of the Match award by Hugh Devenney, on behalf of the LGFA (Photos: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile)

Photos by Sportsfile

Armagh 2-11

Mayo 0-11

By Kevin Fallon

BLAITHIN Mackin said there is plenty of room for improvement as Armagh advanced to a semi-final showdown with Kerry after an impressive TG4 All-Ireland quarter-final win over Mayo at the BOX-IT Athletic Grounds.

Mackin led the way with 1-3 as the Orchard County moved within 60 minutes of a first All-Ireland final date since their sole appearance when they went down to Cork in 2006.

“We are delighted,” said Mackin. “We were looking for a perfomance on our own ground and we definitely got that. But there is still room for improvement in two weeks’ time.

“Throughtout the league and the Ulster championship we have gone after getting scores all over the pitch and it just instils confidence.”

It has been a glorious year for Armagh who captured their first Lidl National League title in April but while they defeated Kerry by 2-12 to 2-9 in that game, Mackin doesn’t think it will have an impact on their semi-final showdown.

“It’s massive but we are a different team than we were in the National League with players out and that, so it is going to be a different game. An All-Ireland semi-final brings different pressures to a team, so we are just looking for a good performance like we did today and hopefully that will be enough.”

Mackin said that having the quarter-final in Armagh was a huge advantage on a weekend when Galway were the only team to secure a place in the last four away from home.

“It was massive having it here,” she added. “We are very lucky in Armagh with the way the crowd really gets behind us, so we were really glad that we topped the group and had it here in the Athletic Grounds because it definitely got us over the line today.”

Armagh led by 1-6 to 0-3 at the break, having raced into a 1-3 to 0-1 lead after just 12 minutes of the contest after Mackin found the net after being set up by Niamh Henderson.

Mackin then added a free before Aoife Geraghty and Henderson exchanged points to leave Armagh ahead by 1-4 to 0-2 at the end of the opening quarter.

The hard-working Geraghty pulled back another good point for Mayo after 22 minutes but Armagh finished the half strongly with Lavery kicking two points to lead by six at the interval.

Mayo created several good openings in the third quarter but the final pass was often intercepted and they paid the price when Armagh countered from deep for Henderson to set up Aoife McCoy for their second goal to lead by 2-7 to 0-4 after 38 minutes.

Henderson got her second point of the evening to extend the lead before Mayo responded with points from Lisa Cafferky and Maria Cannon to leave it 2-8 to 0-6 going into the final quarter.

Mayo rallied but while Lisa Cafferky took her haul to three points from play and Cannon got her third free, they never looked like getting the goal they needed to mount a serious comeback and reach the semi-finals for the fourth year in a row.

Scorers for Armagh: B Mackin 1-3 (0-2f), A McCoy 1-1, E Lavery 0-3 (2f), N Henderson 0-2, L McConville 0-1, N Reel 0-1.

Mayo: L Cafferky 0-3, M Cannon 0-3f, A Geraghty 0-2, L Wallace 0-1, A Gough 0-1, A Staunton 0-1.

ARMAGH: A Carr; G Ferguson, C McCambridge (c), R Mulligan; C Towe, L McConville, D Coleman; N Coleman, C O’Hanlon; E Druse, A McCoy, E Lavery; M McCambridge, N Henderson, B Mackin. Subs: S Quigley for M McCambridge (47), N Reel for Lavery (49), L Kenny for Druse (56).

MAYO: L Brennan; S Lally (c), N O’Malley, K Sullivan; É Ronayne, C Durkan, D Caldwell; A Geraghty, E Murray; L Wallace, A Gough, S Cafferky; S Walsh, M Cannon, L Cafferky. Subs: A Staunton for Murray (half-time), F McLaughlin for Sullivan (39), F McHale for Gough (45), C Needham for Durkan (49), M Reilly for S Cafferky (54).

Referee: Brendan Rice (Down).

Referee Brendan Rice with team captains Saoirse Lally of Mayo and Clodagh McCambridge of Armagh
Blaithín Mackin action against Saoirse Lally
Lucy Wallace of Mayo has her kick blocked down by Caroline O’Hanlon of Armagh
Blaithín Mackin celebrates scoring her side’s first goal
Niamh Henderson of Armagh in action against Eilis Ronayne of Mayo

Mayo agony