Camogs face familiar foes in Ulster opener

When GAA action returned post lockdown in 2020, Armagh’s first outing came in the Ulster Intermediate Final.

They hosted their near neighbours Down, who had already defeated their rivals in the league tie before restrictions ended the competition.

The Mourne county were once again victors in the showpiece as the sides played out an enjoyable, close encounter.

Played in Pearse Og Park, the girls in red and black got over the line to claim the title on a scoreline of 3-11 to 1-11.

Photo Credit: John Merry

This Saturday it’s back to the same venue for both teams, in the same competition, but this time at the quarter final stage.

The tables have turned since that clash last October as it’s now Armagh who head into the contest having won the most recent meeting between the counties.

The 2021 league campaign kicked off for both on May 15th and Armagh travelled to Mayobridge to face their foes.

It proved a one-sided affair however as Mattie Lennon’s side dominated from start to finish to complete their perfect start to the league.

Photo Credit: John Merry

Ciara Donnelly riffled home four goals while Leanne Donnelly also hit the net in the 20-point hammering, 5-9 to 1-1.

Armagh went on to enjoy a relatively successful league campaign, reaching the Division Three league final.

They saw off a strong second half comeback from Carlow in the semi-final to book their place in the decider.

They fell at the final hurdle however as Wexford, who also triumphed in their round two clash, were just too strong on the day.

Photo Credit: John Merry

The Orchard County have recalled some of the old guard to bolster their side, with key experienced heads returning to the fold.

Michelle McArdle and Colette McSorley have slotted into the starting line up nicely while Bernie Murray has also seen game time in the league.

There’s good competition in Armagh camp at the minute, with very few players now guaranteed a starting berth.

One of the first names on the team sheet is undoubtably Ciara Donnelly, who has been in terrific form in attack.

Photo Credit: John Merry

The Eglish sharpshooter built up a sensational 7-20 across the four league outings, contributing to over half of Armagh’s overall tally.

Armagh will most likely carry the favourites tag into this one giving their huge league win, but that won’t worry Lennon and his side.

Home advantage may provide the Orchard County with some comfort and help to aid any nerves that may be in the bellies.

If the league encounter is anything to go by, Armagh will walk through to the last four, but derby days don’t usually play out like that, and a tougher test will be expected.

Photo Credit: John Merry