A last minute penalty goal from Aimee Mackin saw Armagh claim their place in the TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship quarter-finals, as Shane McCormack’s side came from five points down to defeat Connacht champions Mayo in a thrilling contest.
Armagh were quickest off the mark at the Box-It Athletic Grounds with Aimee Mackin pointing from distance. However, Mayo responded with points from Sinéad Cafferky and Deirdre Doherty, before the former raised a green flag on eight minutes. Shauna Howley played Cafferky in behind the Armagh defence, and she kept her composure, before drilling the ball into the roof of the net.
Kelly Mallon pointed to settle Armagh, before Aimee Mackin converted a free soon after. But Mayo, who had a strong breeze at their backs, used it to full effect with Doherty swinging a point over from range. The Connacht champions remained in control and points from Doherty and Howley had them five ahead.
Armagh were given a lifeline moments before half-time, when they were awarded a penalty, but Aimee Mackin couldn’t take advantage as her top corner effort was kept out by a tremendous Laura Brennan save.
Traded points between Aimee Mackin and Sinéad Cafferky saw Mayo take a five-point lead in at the break.
Armagh flew out of the traps at the start of the second half, and in the blink of an eye they had raced in front. Aimee Mackin and Lavery reduced the deficit to two, before the former laid the ball on a plate for Niamh Reel, and she finished to the Mayo net from a yard out to level matters, and Mallon scored to put the Orchard County ahead.
Mayo regained their composure and got back in front through points from Lisa Cafferky and Doherty, but an Aimee Mackin point drew the sides level again.
Armagh edged ahead in a thrilling finish through a Mallon free.
However, Mayo looked to be on their way to victory with a superb solo score by Lisa Cafferky followed by two converted frees by Doherty putting them two ahead.
But the drama wasn’t over yet. A Mallon free made it a one-point game, and in the last minute referee Siobhan Coyle awarded Armagh a penalty for a foul on Aimee Mackin, and having missed in the first half, the Shane O’Neill’s star made no mistake this time around with just 15 seconds left on the clock, she buried her effort past Brennan to seal a remarkable win for Armagh at the death.
Scorers – Armagh: A Mackin 1-5 (1-0 pen, 0-2f), K Mallon 0-4 (2f), N Reel 1-0, E Lavery 0-1.
Mayo: D Doherty 0-6 (3f), S Cafferky 1-2, L Cafferky 0-2, S Howley 0-1.
ARMAGH: A Carr; S Grey, C McCambridge, L Kenny; G Ferguson, L McConville, C Towe; N Coleman, E Lavery; B Mackin, A Mackin, E Druse; N Reel, K Mallon (capt.), A McCoy.
Subs: N Marley for Grey (HT), C O’Hagan for Reel (39), C Marley for Kenny (53).
MAYO: L Brennan; É Ronayne, C McManamon, D Caldwell; C Needham, F McHale, K Sullivan (capt.); A Geraghty, S Cafferky; S Howley, T O’Connor, S Mulvihill; L Cafferky, D Doherty, S Walsh.
Subs: L Wallace for O’Connor (29), M Cannon for Howley (40), M Reily for Mulvihill (48), S Lally for Sullivan (58), R Flynn for Needham (58).
Ref - Siobhan Coyle (Donegal).