Armagh v Laois – Croke Park – 3pm
Armagh are back in Croke Park this Saturday and hoping to carry home the Division Two league trophy this time.
The Orchard County reached the same stage last year, the league final, but lost out to Kerry by three-points.
That halted their promotion push, which they got back on track this year with a perfect record of seven wins from seven outings.
That included a five-point victory over Saturday’s opponents Laois, Armagh’s smallest margin of victory this year.
Laois adapted a defensive style of play to curb Armagh’s attacking influence and while they still lost, it worked to an extent.
And you can understand the tactic. When the sides met in last years league semi-final, Armagh won at a canter, 7-18 to 1-9.
So, Laois pulled out all the stops to ensure that didn’t happen again and it was the only game where Armagh failed to hit the net.
But, in the wide-open space of Croke Park, Shane McCormack’s girls will be extremely dangerous.
Niamh Marley has been named to start the game at corner forward, with Aimee Mackin starting at eleven.
Mackin recently announced her move to Australia, but Armagh’s top scorer will see the county season out before moving down under.
Kelly Mallon, Aoife McCoy, Blaithin Mackin and Emily Druse are the back-up support in the forward line.
Niamh Coleman and Eve Lavery have formed a soiled centerfield pairing and will once again start in the middle.
At the back, Armagh have two real leaders down the centre in the form of Clodagh McCambridge and Lauren McConville.
Shauna Grey and Louise Kenny fill the two corner spots while Grace Ferguson and Cait Towe are on the wings.
Anna Carr has had a fantastic season between the sticks as Armagh have conceded just three goals.
The Orchard Ladies carry the favourites tag into Croke Park but that shouldn’t weigh too heavily. They deserve another piece of silverware and a place in Division One next year.