Armagh out to end season with some silverware

Ulster Championship –Final

Armagh vs Donegal

Saturday21st August – Healy Park – 2.00pm

Armagh’s All-Ireland charge came to an abrupt ending with a surprising seven-point loss to Meath, who now find themselves in the final.

Like last season, Ronan Murphy’s side have the provincial decider to fall back on to refocus the minds.

The Orchard County qualified for the Ulster final over a month ago, following convincing wins over Monaghan and Tyrone.

They face the challenge of Donegal this weekend, a side that has had their number in previous meetings.

Photo Credit: Brendan Monaghan

The two teams clashed in the provincial showpiece in 2018 and 2019, with the Tir Chonaill women claiming three-in-a-row titles.

Armagh put an end to that run last season when they captured their first Ulster title since 2014.

They didn’t beat Donegal however, as Maxi Curran’s side didn’t take part in the Ulster championship.

Donegal may feel that Armagh are the pretenders to their throne and will be out to reclaim their crown.

Photo Credit: Brendan Monaghan

The Armagh team has changed since that 2019 tie, however. Anna Carr and Grace Ferguson have been added to the starting line up and are key members of the squad.

Lauren McConville is back, as is Fionnuala McKenna while Alex Clarke has broken through to claim a starting spot.

Armagh have made massive strides in the last two years, although they may be disappointed with their lot this season.

They failed to gain promotion to the top tier, while their defeat to the Royal County was an unexpected one.

Photo Credit: Brendan Monaghan

The chance to finish 2021 with some silverware is surely major motivation and they won’t give up their crown without a fight.

Aimee Mackin is undoubtably the best in the business and will once again be expected to lead from the front.

Injury forced Caroline O’Hanlon out of the All-Ireland quarter final, and her absence would be a huge blow this weekend if she remains unavailable.

Donegal are coming into this one in similar circumstances to Armagh. Dublin ended their All-Ireland run at the last eight stage, 2-12 to 2-7.

A remarkable 6-16 to 2-17 win over Cavan in the Ulster semi-final sent Donegal through to the final.

Corner forward Geraldine McLaughlin rattled off 2-9 (3f) that day and hit a further 1-7 (7f) against Dublin.

The star attacker built up a personal tally of 2-22 across her sides four games in the All-Ireland competition.

Armagh will have their hands full no doubt but will be confident in their ability to cause Donegal plenty of headaches as well. It has the potential to be a classic.