Clann Eireann out to defend their senior crown

Saturday 23 Sept – BOX-IT Athletic Grounds – 5pm

It took a replay to decide the victor between Carrickcruppen and Clann Eireann in 2022, and this season’s final could be just as tight.

Clann Eireann eventually got their hands on the trophy, getting over the line the next day by four-points.

A late Caroline O’Hanlon penalty saved Cruppen last season, but the Lurgan ladies proved too good in the end.

Both sides are filled with inter-county talent that the new Armagh Ladies manager Greg McGonigle will be keeping an eye on.

Of course, he will be in the orange corner this weekend, plotting the downfall of O’Hanlon and co.

McGonigle has been in charge of Clann Eireann all season, having taken over from James Daly at the start of the year.

The new Armagh boss has already got some silverware with his charge. Clann Eireann collected the league title with ten wins from ten.

Clodagh McCambridge recently received an All-Star nomination for her performance with Armagh this season.

The likes of Cait Towe, the Coleman’s, Niamh and Dearbhla, all saw game time for the Orchard County in 2023.

Then there’s the likes of captain Niamh Henderson, who hit 1-3 in last year’s decider and Tiarna Grimes.

Carrickcruppen have plenty of talent and experience in their changing room as well of course. And plenty of championship medals.

Photo Credit: Brendan Monaghan

But they’re hoping to end a run of championship final defeats having lost the last three to Armagh Harps (2020 and 2021) and Clann Eireann (2022).

O’Hanlon is still the leader of the pack and her duel with McCambridge could be worth the admission fee alone.

Anna Carr is the best goalkeeper in the county, and she was outstanding in the drawn game last season.

Skipper Sharon Reel, Megan Cinnamond, Caitriona O’Hagan and Sarah McCausland are all top-class players.

It makes for an interesting encounter and while Clann Eireann are favourites, it really is impossible to call.