WATCH: 'We showed character to get over the line today' says Armagh's Lauren McConville

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TG4 All-Ireland SFC Group 1 Round 1: Armagh 3-9 Meath 1-14

Armagh’s Lauren McConville praised the character of her team, as they defeated Meath by a point this afternoon, following a late Niamh Coleman goal.

“We’re delighted with the victory,” she said.

“We knew coming here today that it wasn’t going to be easy. Meath are a very well set-up team, and we knew it was going to be a battle right from the start. That’s exactly what it was.

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Armagh's Lauren McConville.Armagh's Lauren McConville.
Armagh's Lauren McConville.

“We keep coming close in these sort of games, so it was great to get over the line and show that bit of character, which we did.”

You can watch the full interview with Lauren McConville in the link at the top of the page.

Orchard up and running in the group

Eve Lavery was a late addition to the starting line-up, but she was in fine form from the off with a curled point from the left wing, which Meath’s Emma Duggan responded to with a free.

Niamh Coleman netted a last minute for Armagh. Picture: Seb Daly/SportsfileNiamh Coleman netted a last minute for Armagh. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Niamh Coleman netted a last minute for Armagh. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

On seven minutes came the move of the game, as a quick hand-passing move which involved Aoife McCoy, Niamh Henderson and McConville finished with Dromintee’s McCoy smashing her shot past Monica McGuirk and into the net.

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After that it was tit-for-tat, with Meath’s Ciara Smyth and Duggan carrying the scoring load, whilst Armagh’s final three scores of the first half coming from Lavery (two) and Kelly Mallon (one) frees.

But the sides went in level at the break at 1-4 to 0-7 following a Duggan free.

Meath opened the scoring in the second period via Sarah Wall, but Armagh responded with four on the bounce through Mallon, Lavery (two) and Blaithin Mackin, who played her first game for the Orchard County this season, returning after a long-term injury.

Armagh's Aoife McCoy scored two goals on Saturday afternoon. Picture: Brendan MonaghanArmagh's Aoife McCoy scored two goals on Saturday afternoon. Picture: Brendan Monaghan
Armagh's Aoife McCoy scored two goals on Saturday afternoon. Picture: Brendan Monaghan

Meath threatened to score a goal, with Armagh shot stopper Anna Carr called into action three times to quell two Meadbh Byrne shots and an Aoibhin Cleary effort.

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However, after a booming point a moment before, Cleary found the net, as she rose highest to palm a dropping Smyth shot into the net.

Duggan added her sixth of the game to put Meath three ahead, but on 51 minutes McCoy had her second goal, as she received Mallon’s pass and drilled a shot off the underside of the bar and into the net to level the game.

A Dearbhla Coleman point from close range and another Duggan free had it all square as stoppage time approached, before Armagh got the key score.

Mallon dropped a high ball into the danger zone and Niamh Coleman was there to punch the ball into the roof of the net to give her side a late three-point advantage.

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Meath did get one back via Byrne, before Duggan went for a last-gasp goal, but Carr pushed the shot over for a point and Armagh held on for the win.

The result has them best-placed now to finish top of the group. They travel to Tipperary next week.

MATCH STATS

Armagh: A Carr; G Ferguson, C McCambridge, R Mulligan; C Towe, L McConville, D Coleman (0-1); N Coleman (1-0), B Mackin (0-1); E Druse, A McCoy (2-0), S Quigley; E Lavery (0-5, 3f), N Henderson, K Mallon (0-2, 2f).

Subs: N Reel for Lavery (52), M McCambridge for Quigley (52), M McCann for Druse (60+3).

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Meath: M McGuirk; S Wall (0-1), M.K. Lynch, N Troy; N Gallogly, K Cole, K Newe; M O’Shaughnessy, A Cleary (1-1); M Thynne (0-1), S Melia, C Smyth (0-2); M Byrne (0-1), M Farrelly, E Duggan (0-8, 5f).

Subs: L Young for Smyth (54), S Lynch for Cole (59).

Referee: Gus Chapman.

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