Hopes for 2021 – Armagh Camogie

2020 will be hard topped for the Armagh Camogie team, as they claimed the ultimate prize and were crowned Premier Junior All-Ireland Champions.

They did so in brilliant fashion, seeing off Roscommon and Tyrone before bettering Cavan in the fiercely contested finale.

This season, the Orchard County will once again ply their trade in the Junior Champions, despite getting their hands on the trophy.

With the year that was in it, the seconds teams of a lot of counties weren’t allowed to join in on the race for the Kay Mills cup.

They’ll be back in action this season, and Armagh will be hoping to once again contest for All-Ireland glory.

We spoke to Armagh star Ciara Donnelly after her side secured the All-Ireland crown!

Covid-19 denied the camogie association a proper league campaign, as Armagh featured just once before games were suspended.

Michael Murphy’s side were based in Division Three for the 2020 year and shared group two with Down, Louth, Carlow and Clare.

They were up against their red and black neighbours in round one, and the Mourne County dished an eight-point defeat on a cold February morning.

When action returns in the new year, Armagh will hope the momentum and confidence of their All-Ireland win can carry into the league.

They showed against Cavan, Tyrone and Roscommon (all division three teams) in the championship that they have enough quality to target promotion.

Although they failed to gather any momentum through the halted league campaign, 2021 will hopefully work out better.

Championship wise, Armagh competed in the Ulster Intermediate Championship Final in mid-October, eight months after their last outing.

Down were once again too strong for the home side, and goals proved to be the name of the game, with the winners grabbing more three-pointers to gain victory.

Armagh narrowed the gap from the game the sides shared in February, with six points the margin this time around. 3-11 to 1-11.

They renewed some confidence and quality and it was on display during the All-Ireland series, with several players catching the eye.

Ciara Donnelly was the star of the show in the decider, hitting 0-13 of her sides 0-19 and becoming the teams top scorer for the championship.

Her sister Leanne and Rachael Merry were the only other scorers that day and came away from 2020 with enormous credit.

Louise Toner stood strong at the centre of the defence and was a real leader in the Armagh back line throughout the year.

Ciara Hill was one of the finest Camogs on display while Orlagh Murray led the side to glory from centre half forward.

A big thing for Armagh this season will be to retain the same squad as last season as well as adding some new faces.

A lot of talk before the All-Ireland Final was of the 1993 team that were triumphant and backed it up the following year by winning the Intermediate Championship.

While Armagh won’t have that same opportunity, they can still achieve the double by once again winning the Junior All-Ireland.