Armagh begin title defence against Donegal

Three-in-a-row Ulster champions Armagh begin their title defence with an away trip to Donegal this weekend.

The Orchard ladies overcame Donegal in the previous two finals and needed extra time to clinch the trophy last year.

In 2020, Armagh ended a six-year wait for an Ulster title, beating Monaghan in Clones by two-points, 0-17 to 0-15.

Donegal, who had achieved three-in-a-row in the previous years, didn’t take part in the 2020 competition.

They returned the following season and the two sides clashed in the Ulster final, with Armagh coming out on top.

It took a late score from Fionnuala McKenna to see the Orchard through with one-point to spare, 3-12 to 3-11.

And last year it was the same story. The two sides couldn’t be separated in normal time, and a late Kelly Mallon goal was the difference in the end.

So, there’s a dramatic past between these two. And this weekend, while it’s not the final, is unlikely to be any different.

With the three-team group stage, also including Cavan, it’s likely that Armagh and Donegal will also meet in the decider.

Donegal already saw off the Breffni ladies last weekend in a low-scoring affair, coming out on top 1-6 to 0-4.

Photo Credit: Brendan Monaghan


Armagh will carry the favourites tag into the game having clinched promotion to the top tier and the Division Two league title recently.

An Aimee Mackin hattrick along with another three-pointer from Aoife McCoy saw Armagh past Laois in Croke Park.

It topped what was a super league campaign for the Orchard, who won all eight games, including the final.

Maxi Curran’s Tir Chonaill ladies on the other hand were relegated from the topflight, losing all seven of their games.

So, Armagh are chasing more silverware with a fourth Ulster title in a row in their sights. They’ll look to continue their winning form and should have too much for their old foes.

Photo Credit: Brendan Monaghan