Armagh hope to end year on a high

The Armagh ladies face into their third Ulster Final in as many years this weekend, hoping to get their hands on the trophy for the first time in six seasons.

Donegal have proven a step too far in the previous two campaigns but it’s Monaghan in the opposite corner this time around.

Ronan Murphy’s have been in excellent form post-lockdown, and it all started with a win in the Ulster Championship.

They welcomed Tyrone to Crossmaglen almost two months ago and saw off their near neighbours with a terrific first half display.

Listen to our preview of the game with Catherine Marley!

Aimee Mackin was on fire throughout, hitting 1-5 on the day while Caroline O’Hanlon, Catherine Marley and Blaithin Mackin also hit the net.

All four goals came within the opening thirty minutes and the game was essentially over at the short whistle.

Armagh did take their foot off the gas in the second period, but the hard work had been done, and the Orchard ran out 4-14 to 1-10 winners.

That victory was the springboard to a brilliant run in the All-Ireland championship, that saw them reach the last four.

Dublin ended their championship run, but even in defeat Armagh held their heads high and showed their quality.

Now, they’re minds are back to concentrating on provincial glory. They’ll hope to end their year on a high and have some silverware to show for their efforts.

They were last crowned champions of Ulster in 2014 and will be keen to finally get back on top after years of hurt.

Clones was the venue when Armagh last won Ulster, and Monaghan were the opposition, perhaps a good omen for Saturday’s encounter.

Armagh’s attacking talent has been well documented, with all six starting attackers getting on the scoresheet during their All-Ireland campaign.

Their defence has been outstanding as well, with Clodagh McCambridge being one of the standout performers in the orange and white.

Both sides compete in Division Two of the leagues, but due to the competition coming to an early end, they never clashed.

Armagh were much the better team when these sides met in the semi-final of 2019 and home advantage helped them ease to victory.

The Orchard County hit a superb 5-14 that day and will be targeting another big scoring tally in keeping with the momentum they have gathered over the last few weeks.

Home advantage is all Monaghan’s this time around, but Armagh will look to 2014 for inspiration and should be too strong for the Farney County.