Sat 15 July – BOX-IT Athletic Grounds – 3.30pm
Armagh are sixty minutes away from the last four of the All-Ireland series and Cork currently start in their way.
Shane McCormack’s side have only been beaten once this year, in the Ulster final, so head into the game in good form.
But they face a bit of the unknown coming up against the Rebels, as they haven’t crossed paths in four years.
That was a significant day for the Orchard County however, as they edged past Cork by the minimum of margins.
The Munster ladies weren’t perhaps the dominant side that won every All-Ireland title bar one between 2005-2016. But it was still a significant achievement for Armagh.
It was also the day that Aimee Mackin tore her ACL, which kept her sidelined for a year. But the Shane O’Neill’s sharpshooter bounced back to win Player of the Year in 2020.
With Mackin gone at half time, Armagh still had enough to overcome Cork by a single point, 4-9 to 3-11.
Caroline O’Hanlon, who top scored with 1-3, Blaithin Mackin, Kelly Mallon and Mairead Watters all hit the net.
The Armagh team, except the forward line, has changed quite a bit in the intervening four years.
Only Anna Carr and Clodagh McCambridge were part of the defence that will again line up against the Rebels on Saturday.
Caroline O’Hanlon started in midfield. Up front, the Marley sisters (Niamh and Catherine) and the Mackin sisters (Aimee and Blaithin) were alongside Mallon and Aoife McCoy.
Armagh still carry that impressive goal threat and they showed serious character to scrape past Mayo in their last outing.
The Orchard ladies trailed for the majority of the game but came good at the end. A late Aimee Mackin penalty secured a two-point win.
It’s three years since the girls in orange and white last reached the semi-finals. Perhaps the home support and that never say die attitude will seem them return to the last four.