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Armagh star declares ‘there is more to come’ after inspiring win over Mayo

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BLAITHIN MACKIN believes there is more to come from Armagh after they dismissed Mayo in the TG4 All-Ireland SFC quarter-final.

The Orchard will now face Kerry in the last four following their victory at the Athletic Grounds.

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Blaithin Mackin scored 1-3 as Armagh beat Mayo in the All-Ireland quarter-finalsCredit: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

And Mackin led the way with a 1-3 tally to move to within 60 minutes of a first All-Ireland SFC final since 2006.

She said: “We are delighted. We were looking for a performance on our own ground and we definitely got that.

“But there is still room for improvement in two weeks’ time.

“Throughout the league and the Ulster Championship we have gone after getting scores all over the pitch and it just instils confidence.”

It has been a glorious year for Armagh who captured their first Lidl National League title in April.

But while they defeated Kerry by 2-12 to 2-9 in that game, Mackin does not think it will have an impact on their semi-final showdown.

She added: “It’s massive but we are a different team than we were in the National League with players out and that, so it is going to be a different game. An All-Ireland semi-final brings different pressures to a team.

“We are just looking for a good performance like we did today and hopefully that will be enough.”

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And Mackin believes that hosting the quarter-final in Armagh was a huge advantage on a weekend when Galway were the only team to secure a place in the last four away from home.

The attacker insisted: “It was massive having it here. We are very lucky in Armagh with the way the crowd really gets behind us.

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“We were really glad that we topped the group and had it here in the Athletic Grounds because it got us over the line.”

Armagh led by 1-6 to 0-3 at the break, having raced into a 1-3 to 0-1 lead after just 12 minutes of the contest as Mackin found the net having been set up by Niamh Henderson.

Mackin added a free before Aoife Geraghty and Henderson exchanged points to leave Armagh ahead by 1-4 to 0-2 at the end of the opening quarter. The hard-working Geraghty pulled back a point for Mayo after 22 minutes.

But Armagh finished the half strongly with Lavery kicking two points to lead by six at the interval.

Mayo created several good openings in the third quarter but the final pass was often intercepted.

And they paid the price when Armagh countered from deep for Henderson to set up Aoife McCoy for their second goal to lead by 2-7 to 0-4 after 38 minutes.

Henderson got her second point of the evening to extend the lead before Mayo responded with points from Lisa Cafferky and Maria Cannon to leave it 2-8 to 0-6 going into the final quarter.

Mayo rallied but while Cafferky took her haul to three points from play and Cannon got her third free, they never looked like getting the goal they needed to mount a serious comeback.

ARMAGH: A Carr; G Ferguson, C McCambridge, R Mulligan; C Towe, L McConville 0-1, D Coleman; N Coleman, C O’Hanlon; E Druse, A McCoy 1-1, E Lavery 0-3, 2f; M McCambridge, N Henderson 0-2, B Mackin 1-3, 0-2f. Subs: S Quigley for M McCambridge 47 mins; N Reel 0-1 for Lavery 49; L Kenny for Druse 56.

MAYO: L Brennan; S Lally, N O’Malley, K Sullivan; É Ronayne, C Durkan, D Caldwell; A Geraghty 0-2, E Murray; L Wallace 0-1, A Gough 0-1, S Cafferky; S Walsh, M Cannon 0-3f, L Cafferky 0-3. Subs: A Staunton 0-1 for Murray h-t; F McLaughlin for Sullivan 39 mins; F McHale for Gough 45; C Needham for Durkan 49; M Reilly for S Cafferky 54.

REFEREE: B Rice (Down).

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