LGFA Championship Finals Preview

Senior Championship Final

Armagh Harps vs Carrickcruppen

Sat 12th Sept – Athletic Grounds – 7.00pm

Armagh Harps Ladies will return to the Athletic Grounds this weekend and attempt to rewrite the wrongs of last season.

Twelve months ago, the Harps made the Senior Championship Final, only to fall at the last hurdle, with Clann Eireann securing the title.

Revenge was sweet earlier this season however, as the Harps recorded an outstanding victory over their Lurgan rivals.

Six points was the winning margin as the Harps powered to a 1-13 to 1-7 win, all the more impressive when looking at the league result.

Last year’s finalists met in round two of the league and Clann Eireann won with ease, 4-14 to 0-6 the final score.

The Harps turned that around brilliantly come Championship season and also defeated Shane O’Neill’s in the last four.

The Harps matched the goal threat posed by the Shane’s and had enough to edge through by two points, 3-9 to 4-4.

They face another dangerous proposition on Saturday, and another Camlough outfit, when they take on Carrickcruppen.

‘Cruppen are led by the incredible Caroline O’Hanlon and the Harps will be well aware of the threat she poses.

The Carrickcruppen captain may wear the number nine jersey, but she has been placed on the edge of the square this season and caused havoc.

She was in amazing form against Dromahill, rattling the net six times as her side saw out an easy 10-10 to 1-5 win.

They faced a tough test in the semi-finals against Grange, but once again had enough to get through, winning 1-16 to 0-15.

Sarah McCausland and Megan Cinnamond offer great support in the ‘Cruppen attack while Sharon Reel is the rock at centre half back.

Anna Carr is the Armagh netminder and her experience between the sticks could be crucial in helping her side over the line.

The Harps have plenty of talent in their ranks as well and they are strong down the spine of their team.

Galway native and All-Star Sinead Burke lines out in the blue and white this season and she claims the centre half back position.

Finnuola McKenna is a brilliant player and she will take some watching as she tries to pull the strings from midfield.

Aoife Lennon picked up the Division One Player of the Year in 2019 while at full forward Kelly Mallon is the main scoring threat.

Both these sides have an eye for goal so we can expect a high scoring contest and whatever sides forwards are on form should do enough to claim the title.

Intermediate Championship Final

Ballyhegan vs Lissummon

Sun 13th Sept – Keady – 1.00pm

In ladies football circles, Lissummon are famous for one surname, Marley. This Lissummon side boasts the four Marley sisters, with Catherine, Niamh, Sarah and Caoimhe all star players for their side.

Catherine is a dangerous forward who will give defences nightmares, and Ballyhegan will be hoping to limit her influence on proceedings come Sunday.

Niamh is a force to be reckoned with around the middle and will be giving her all to captain this side to Intermediate glory.

Sarah, the rock of the defence, has plenty of experience. The corner back won a TG4 National League All Star in 2019, along with County Player of the Year in 2018 and Armagh Senior Division 2 Club Player of the Year last season.

Caoimhe, now Caoimhe Morgan, still has plenty left in tank and she commands the Lissummon defence and keeps a tight ship.

The former Armagh captain served her county for nearly two decades, and even represented Ireland playing International Rules against Australia.

It would be rude not to mention the players around the Marley’ who without them, they would not be where they are today.

Two of Lissummon’s most experienced players Nicola Sloane and Orla Connolly have been playing for many years and have been there through the good years and the bad.

They will have a say on Sunday when they attempt to get back to Senior where they resided for the last number of years.

Ballyhegan are an emerging force in Armagh Ladies football, buoyed with a Junior Championship title back in 2017.

They have had three players break into the Armagh senior team with Eve Lavery, Grace Ferguson and Blaithnaid Hendron.

They have had representatives on the Dungannon Academy u20 All Ireland ladies football colleges winning side of 2019 and also a number of players that have made the county underage squads over the past number of years.

Other notable players for Ballyhegan are Lauren O’Gorman a former county minor, Caitlin McCormick, Brenda McCormick (Caitlin’s mum) and Edith McCormick.

The Davitts have been in great form during their league campaign and they currently sit top of Division Three with four wins from five.

Lissummon have been playing their football at a higher grade, and with two wins from three, sit third in Division Two.

Lissummon will have the edge in terms of experience, but Ballyhegan will be up for the challenge and we should be in for a great contest.

Junior Championship Final

Craobh Ciaran vs St Peter’s

Fri 11th Sept – Davitt Park – 7.30pm

St Peters will contest their first Championship Final at Senior level this Friday evening, nearly 20 years since their first participation in Armagh ladies football.

They saw off Clonmore in their last four game with nine points to spare, winning in the end 1-14 to 0-8.

St Peters are an experienced side with plenty of quality within their ranks. Current county panellist Chloe Magill will be expected to line out at half forward on Friday and will be a major threat to the Craobh Ciaran defence.

The Lurgan side have former Armagh player Ciara Lennon on their side, and she will keep the scoreboard ticking over alongside Emer McCormick on the inside forward line.

The experienced Lauren Magee and Sarah Morgan will help launch attacks from the middle of the park while sticky defenders Hannah Abraham and Kate Corvan will try and keep it tight at the back.

Craobh Ciaran are quite unknown at first glance as they are an amalgamation of both Derrynoose and Middletown.

They too have never contested a Junior Championship Final, so a new winner will take home the cup on Friday evening.

Although the name is unknown the players are not. Craobh Ciaran boast two current Armagh Camogie players in joint captain Nicola Woods and Catherine Beagan, who play key roles in the attack.

They also hold two former county footballers in their ranks with Sarah Molloy and Aoibheann McKenna, the latter also more recently lined out for London ladies.

Craobh Ciaran have a great mix of youth and experience with an abundance of underage talent that have played at county level.

Namely joint captain Laura McNally a county minor this year, Clodagh Gaffney, Orlaith Mallon, Aine Mallon, Aideen Farrell, Emma Fox, Maeve Lennon and Niamh Murphy.

These girls pick up vital positions all over the field and will have a huge say on their sides success on Friday evening.

These sides have already clash in 2020, as Craobh Ciaran picked up an opening day league win over their opponents.

They were too strong on the night, claiming an impressive 4-9 to 2-6 win but that will have no relevance come Friday evening.

Craobh Ciaran currently sit top of Division Four, with St Peter’s just behind them, so this game is expected to go right down to the wire.