McConville punishes Deise to seal title for Armagh
ARMAGH 1-14 WATERFORD 1-5 DIVISION 3 FINAL
Armagh did not carry the mantle of red-hot favourites too well, but still did enough to see off Waterford with plenty to spare.
The Orchard County did most of the damage in a 20-minute spell either side of half-time to secure promotion to Division 2. Armagh hit an unanswered 1-3 in the eight minutes before the break and then reeled off four points early in the second half, but the game finished 13-a-side after a flurry of cards in the last 10 minutes.
Armagh full-forward Kelly Mallon received a harsh straight red after 53 minutes, with team-mate Sarah Marley and Waterford duo Shona Curran and Grainne Kenneally all going into the sin-bin.
Waterford were not expected to push Armagh so hard and will feel they could have got even closer only for their eight first-half wides and a missed penalty by Michelle Ryan in the 45th minute.
After a tentative start by both teams, Ryan's free gave Waterford the opening score in the 10th minute.
Armagh landed three quick-fire points in a four-minute spell through Lauren McConville, Mags McAlinden and Fionnuala McKenna's free.
Liz Devine got the Deise's first and only point from play of the first half in the 17th minute to reduce the deficit to 0-3 to 0-2.
Waterford certainly had their chances, with Kenneally and Aileen Wall influential, and they were made to regret those misses when Armagh reeled off an unanswered 1-3 before half-time.
Kelly Mallon pointed when Caroline O'Hanlon kicked a '45' short, and McKenna added a second point to put daylight between the teams.
Then came a crucial few minutes, when Waterford spurned a great goal chance. Substitute Hannah Landers' shot was brilliantly blocked by Caoimhe Morgan. The rebound fell to Shona Curran, who inexplicably shot wide of a gaping net.
Armagh made them pay with a McConville goal in the 29th minute. She dispossessed Mary Foley and played a one-two with McAlinden before blasting the ball high into the roof of the net.
Substitute Siobhan Mackle tagged on another point to give Armagh a 1-6 to 0-2 lead which flattered them.
McConville, McKenna (two) and Aoife McCoy helped put Armagh 1-10 to 0-3 ahead, but Waterford responded with a goal from substitute Shauna Dunphy.
The Deise had the initiative and Armagh were struggling to put the game to bed, hitting seven wides in the second half. However, Waterford's challenge faded after Ryan's missed penalty.
Scorers – Armagh: L McConville 1-2, F McKenna 0-5 (2f), S Mackle 0-3, K Mallon 0-2, M McAlinden, A McCoy 0-1 each. Waterford: S Dunphy 1-0, M Ryan 0-2 (2f), S Curran, H Landers, L Devine 0-1 each
ARMAGH – K Daly; M Tennyson, C Morgan, S Marley; M McGuinness, N Marley, S Reel; C Malone, C O'Hanlon (capt); N Henderson, F McKenna, A McCoy; L McConville, K Mallon, M McAlinden. Subs: S Mackle for Malone (28), S Grey for McGuinness (38), L Kenny for McAlinden (45)
WATERFORD – A Jordan; N Dunphy, G Enright, M Foley; S Curran, K McGrath, G Kenneally; M McGrath (capt), E Power; L Wall, M Ryan, M Wall; A Wall, M Revins, L Devine. Subs: H Landers for Revins (19), S Dunphy for Devine (36)
REF – M Doherty (Wexford)