Friday 21 October 2016

Cork and Dubs set to renew rivalry in last four of League

Jackie Cahill

Published 18/04/2016 | 02:30

Cork's Rhona Ni Bhuachalla in action against Armagh's Mairead Tennyson. Photo: Seb Daly / Sportsfile
Cork's Rhona Ni Bhuachalla in action against Armagh's Mairead Tennyson. Photo: Seb Daly / Sportsfile

Ephie Fitzgerald's Cork squeezed into the Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 1 semi-finals, as a three-point victory over Armagh in Abbotstown on Sunday proved good enough to secure a top-four finish.

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The Rebelettes ran out 2-16 to 4-7 winners against Armagh, who were edged out of the semi-final placings.

Holders Cork will now face Dublin next weekend, with fourth-placed Kerry taking on runaway table-toppers Mayo.

Kerry made it through as a result of their superior scoring difference over Armagh, as five teams finished on 12 points.

Cork got off to the perfect start against Armagh as captain Ciara O'Sullivan netted with just 30 seconds on the watch.

Cork were 1-5 to 0-0 clear before Aimee Mackin registered Armagh's opening score of the game and the Orchard County were given another boost when midfield inspiration Caroline O'Hanlon netted shortly after.

Armagh missed a couple of glorious chances and were punished at the other end when Cork's Briege Corkery landed a point to establish a 1-9 to 1-2 lead.

Aimee Mackin bagged Armagh's second goal but they still had plenty of work to do at half-time, trailing by 2-3 to 1-11.

Cork seemed to have put the result beyond doubt with their second goal shortly after the break, O'Sullivan on target again, but Armagh rallied with goals from Fionnuala McKenna and Mackin. But Cork held on for the vital win to set up another showdown with Dublin.

In Division 2, Sligo maintained their second-tier status by seeing off Meath in a relegation playoff.

Elsewhere, the Division 3 League final will be contested by Waterford and Tipperary, who scored semi-final victories over Leitrim and Wexford.

In Division 4, Antrim and Limerick will contest the decider after registering wins against Longford and Wicklow.

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