Hurling & Camogie

Armagh need to re-discover goalscoring touch to see off Laois

The Orchard girls have failed to find the net after bagging five in their league opener

Sinead Quinn
Armagh's Sinead Quinn is blossoming into one of the top forwards around (©INPHO/Evan Treacy ©INPHO/Evan Treacy/©INPHO/Evan Treacy)

Very Ireland Camogie League Division 3A final

Laois v Armagh (Saturday, 2pm in Abbottstown, 2pm)

DURING yet another league campaign, Armagh found themselves trying to re-build a team. Injury and players choosing to travel have meant that most of the work done last year has come to less than it really should have.

There are, however, a number of positives for Sean Hughes this season, not least the return to the panel of experienced players Eimear Hayes, Ciara Geogeghan and Niamh Forker, although the first two may not really regain their fitness until championship time.

Then you have Sinéad Quinn’s further development into one of the top forwards around. When Armagh reached the 2022 All-Ireland final she was still a minor. Now, the Derrynoose forward has moved on and is producing the goods at university level.

However, apart from the opening game, when they beat Roscommon by hitting the net five times, goalscoring has been a problem. No goals in each of the next three games. And they will know that they need to find the net a couple of times if they are to beat Laois in Abbotstown. That means that they will need to be more ruthless, go more direct than they have been doing.

Laois are a decent Division Two team, but they went through a bad spell last year and ended up dropping down a grade. This year, however, perhaps with a little less pressure in individual games, they seem to have regained their confidence and they have been the team to beat.

Armagh conceded a goal in the sixth minute to them in the group game and that score remained the difference for the next 40 minutes until they found the net again and secured the win.

Armagh chased them but couldn’t get the goal they needed to put them ahead. They need to avoid the same scenario in the final. They need to set the pace and an early goal would certainly help them.

Verdict If Laois get that early goal, they will win. If Armagh get two or more goals they will win.