Hurling and camogie

Granemore v Madden camogie final on the cards? Not if Keady or Middletown have their way

Séamas McAleenan

Armagh Senior Camogie Championship semi-finals: Tonight (Wednesday August 29): Athletic Grounds: 7pm: Keady v Granemore; 8.30pm Madden v Middletown

NEITHER Keady nor Madden have hit a sliotar in the Armagh Senior Championship yet, but that will probably not be an issue as they take on Granemore and Middletown respectively in the championship semi-final double-header at the Athletic Grounds tonight.

It is fully two months since the quarter-finals were played with Granemore beating Tullysaran by 0-16 to 1-10 and Middletown coming behind to edge out Ballymacnab by 2-6 to 2-5.

Granemore, unbeaten in the league in 2018, look to be the team to beat as they close in on a third successive crown.

They have by now a solid all-round team and this year have brought through three strong Under 16s to supplement hard-working defenders like Saoirse McClelland and Gráinne Kelly and exciting attacking talent in Rachel Merry and Ciara Hill.

Keady however can never be ruled out of contention, despite not having won the championship since their 13th title arrived in 2012.

However they are unlikely to have the services of Catherine McCooey who has not trained for a month now due to a serious injury. But they do have experienced players like Sarah Molloy, Kerrie-Ann Tamney, Kelly-Anne Comiskey and Aoife Murphy who will be determined to overturn the result of last year's final when Granemore came in on a 2-9 to 0-7 score-line.

The second game of the evening should be very interesting indeed. Madden would perhaps be favourites with most of the team that won back-to-back titles in 2014-15, ending a 33 year wait to get back to the top in the county.

They will welcome back Kelly Mallon who has been very occupied in recent months with the Armagh footballers and she also added an All-Ireland road-bowling title to her sporting achievements.

Madden's top-scorer is Michelle Morgan, with the McGuigan sisters strong players as well. However out of consideration for an outfield position is Leah McGoldrick, although the young defender could well appear in goals.

Middletown are still in search of their first title after losing three finals in the past nine seasons, one to each of the other three semi-finalists.

Their main driving force is former Cork All-Ireland medallist Jenny O'Leary, while the Woods sisters, Nicola and Síodhna, and Emma Mone are emerging Armagh county players.

Neither game is easy to call. However my suggestion is a Granemore v Madden final on September 19.

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