Ulster Champions begin All-Ireland title defence

Junior All-Ireland – Round One

Armagh vs Waterford

Saturday 24th July – Athletic Grounds – 2.00pm

If the old adage, ‘you’re only as good as your last game’ is true, then Armagh are in flying form heading into this weekend.

The Ulster Champions dismissed Antrim in devastating fashion to claim the provincial title. Now they looked to retain their All-Ireland crown.

The Camogs enjoyed an eventual 2020. They lost out in the Ulster Intermediate final to Down by six points.

They bounced back and built momentum that carried them through to the All-Ireland final, with wins over Roscommon and Tyrone.

Photo Credit: John Merry

The Donnelly sisters Ciara and Leanne led Armagh to victory as they defeated Cavan 0-19 to 3-7.

Now under the watchful eye of Mattie Lennon, they begin their title defence at home to Waterford.

While Armagh stormed to the Division Three league final, Waterford finished bottom of their group.

Wexford eventually edged the showpiece, but Armagh showed serious quality in getting that far in the competition.

Photo Credit: John Merry

Waterford faced groups games against Carlow, Clare and Limerick and ended their league campaign pointless.

All signs are pointing to an Armagh victory, but the Orchard County will be keen not to go into the game overconfident.

They do possess serious attacking talent that will ask huge questions of any defence they face.

Captain and top scorer Ciara Donnelly hit an incredible 6-15 in the three Ulster championship game.

Photo Credit: John Merry

Rachael Merry has chipped in with 0-18 while Sinead Kiernan also rattled the net against Antrim.

Mattie Lennon has called back some older heads to the squad and is finding the balance between youth and experience.

Michelle McArdle, Bernie Murray, Colette McSorley and Grainne McWilliams have all played key roles to play so far this season.

Photo Credit: John Merry

The quartet all played in the 2016 All-Ireland final defeat to Carlow and will be eager to get back to that stage.

Armagh should have enough to see this one through. They meet Wexford, the only team that has beaten them in 2021, in round two.

The Orchard County hope to head into that encounter top of the table, with a chance to get into the last four.