FOOTBALL: “We enjoyed that and it will bring us on” – Eamonn Murray
Compiled by Daragh Small (Meath manager Eamonn Murray before their TG4 All-Ireland SFC Group B Round 2 match against Armagh. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile)
MEATH manager Eamonn Murray said he is excited about what lies after watching his TG4 All-Ireland Senior Champions book their place in the 2022 quarter-finals.
The Royals are joined in the knock-out stages by the team they beat in last year’s decider, Dublin, along with Mayo and Galway with four places remaining up for grabs.
In a repeat of the 2021 last-eight clash, Meath were held to a 0-9 to 0-9 draw by Armagh at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park in Sunday’s live TG4 game, but they still advanced.
Aimee Mackin was outstanding in the first half as Armagh took a 0-6 to 0-4 lead into half-time but Orlagh Lally scored a late equaliser.
“We enjoyed that and it will bring us on,” said Murray.
“We just wanted a display today and we got patches of that, maybe not 100 percent but we are getting there.
“We have three weeks left and we probably need every day of that to get right up to scratch. It’s going to be tough, it’s getting exciting from now on. Looking forward to all the excitement again.”
In Group A, Dublin and Mayo booked their places in the quarter-finals, with victories over Tipperary and Cavan respectively.
In the first of the double-header at the Longford venue, Mayo secured a narrow 0-16 to 2-9 win live on TG4. Tara Needham scored the late winner for Michael Moyles’ team.
“It was a really good battle and it’s something that will stand to us,” said Moyles.
“We have a very young panel, a new panel and we’re getting experience all the time. But we know what’s ahead of us against Dublin and that’s a great game there that will bring us on leaps and bounds.”
Nicole Owens made it three goals in two games as Leinster winners Dublin secured another win. Their 1-11 to 0-6 success at Tipperary’s expense ensured sae passage to the final eight.
“We are just trying to make sure we don’t put too much in their legs because it can be attritional over the next few weeks with what’s about to come,” said Dublin manager Mick Bohan.
“There is no sympathy for people at this stage of the season, it’s a matter of put your hand up and try to contribute, so if we see something in training, we give an opportunity.”
In Group C, Galway got their first win of the competition and advanced to the quarter-finals thanks to a resounding 1-18 to 0-4 victory over Westmeath in Tuam Stadium.
The Tribeswomen bounced back from their Round 1 loss against Kerry with Siobhán Divilly scoring their goal.
“Take the learnings from the two games and push on now for the next couple of weeks and looking forward to a quarter-final,” said Galway captain Sarah Ní Loingsigh.
And in Group D, Munster holders Cork got the better of Donegal on a 2-12 to 1-10 scoreline. Doireann O’Sullivan scored 1-5 for the Rebelettes.
“Based on our first half performance, there is a small bit of disappointment with how the second half went,” said Cork manager Shane Ronayne.
“You have to look at the overall context though, Donegal are a very good team.”
Also on Sunday, there was one game in the TG4 All-Ireland Junior Championship.
Antrim, the beaten finalists last year, ensured they’ll be back in the semi-finals by seeing off the challenge of New York, where it finished 7-19 to 0-8.
New York are back in the Championship for the first time since 2014, and will travel to the TUS Gaelic Grounds next Wednesday evening (7.30pm) to take on Limerick.