Armagh began their All-Ireland title defence with a win over Waterford in the Athletic Grounds last weekend.
It was nip and tuck early on. Three second half goals from Ciara Donnelly, Eimear Smyth and Colette McSorley guaranteed victory.
They now face Wexford in two weeks, the only team that has beaten them so far in the 2021 season.
Speaking to The Sideline Eye Podcast after the ten-point win, Leanne Donnelly detailed how her side pulled away in the end.
“It was touch and go for the first few minutes. But then we finally got our first touch and started getting the points over the bar, which is the main thing.
We didn’t really know much about Waterford initially. They’re a good team, they showed themselves in the first ten minutes.
We had to get our foot into gear and thankfully coming into the second half we got the first few points over the bar. We just kept pinging the points and got three goals as well, so that definitely helped us”.
It’s not a fixture Armagh have been familiar with in recent years, but the Eglish star doesn’t mind heading into the unknown.
“Personally, I don’t really mind not knowing what I’m facing. I think it’s nearly better not knowing, because they maybe don’t know much about you either. It’s just man for man and play your own game”.
The Donnelly sisters dominated last season’s Junior All-Ireland final, recording all but two points of Armagh’s final tally.
While Ciara is still scoring heavily, Leanne’s game has changed slightly, although she still knows where the goal posts are.
“I’m making my way out, hopefully I’ll stay in the mid, not anywhere near the backline! I’m glad to be out in midfield, getting out and roaming and playing good ball into the forwards”.
Mattie Lennon has brought immediate success to the team. They reached the Division Three league final as well as lifting the Intermediate Ulster crown.
Donnelly was full of praise for the Derrynoose man’s influence on the team, “He’s something else. Everything he says is so motivational, and you just want to go out and play your best that you can possibly play”.
Lennon has added some experience to the line up this season, having recalled some of the older heads to the panel.
Bernie Murray, Colette McSorley, Michelle McArdle and Grainne McWilliams all say game time last Saturday. While Caella Casey has also been added to the panel.
“Since the 2016 All-Ireland final team, we’re nearly back to the starting 15 that would have been there. Caella Casey, she’s back in as well. We’re on the up, so that’s a good sign”.