Ulster Intermediate Final
Armagh vs Antrim
Saturday 10th July – Pearse Og Park – 1pm
Saturday sees Armagh contest the Ulster Intermediate Final as they host Antrim in Pearse Og Park.
They will enjoy the comfort of home advantage for their third came in a row. They met Down in the same venue before taking on Cavan in Granemore.
Mattie Lennon’s side came through both tight encounters. One point was the difference against Down while Armagh needed extra time to see off the Breffni ladies.
It’s been a bright start to Lennon’s tenure. The Derrynoose man helped Armagh reached the Division Three league final.
Although losing to Wexford in the showpiece, his side played some fantastic stuff in their four league outings.
They put five goals past both Down and Carlow while running the yellow bellies close in round three and then the final.
The league was good preparation for what they would face in Ulster. Down were once again up first and the result was the same.
This was a much closer game however, having beaten their neighbours 5-9 to 1-1 in the opening round of the league.
They edged through by the minimum of margins. Bernie Murray’s late score seeing them through 0-11 to 1-7.
That led to the semi-final against Cavan. The side they defeated in last years Premier Junior All-Ireland final.
Once again Armagh, it was impossible to call a winner. It was so close, extra was required to decide the result.
The Orchard County were the better side in extra time and deserving made it through to the decider by four points.
Rachael Merry was in terrific form hitting 0-7, her 0-3 in the first period of extra time key to getting Armagh over the line.
The Granemore attacker added to her three points scored the first day out and is joined as the teams top scorer with 0-10.
Ciara Donnelly has recorded the same personal tally with 1-7. Her goal coming during that extra time period to ensure the victory.
Bernie Murray has performed well since her return to the scene. The Cullyhanna woman has hit 0-5 across her two outings.
Michelle McArdle and Leanne Donnelly formed a strong midfield pairing the last day out and are two hard workers around that area.
Nicola Woods protects the square with Ciarrai Devlin behind her between the sticks. Louise Toner and Gemma McCann offer serious strength across the half back line.
Armagh have plenty of options. They carry a match day panel of 30 players and the likes of Eimear Hays, Colette McSorley and Stephaine Curry all on the bench the last day out.
Orlagh Murray made a good impact when introduced against Down and is another attacking weapon in Lennon’s arsenal.
Armagh are heading into this one full of confidence and with home advantage once again, it could tip this one in their favour.