Hurling & Camogie

Camogie: League success makes Armagh favourites for Ulster intermediate semi-final clash with Cavan

Breffni girls look to bounce back following relegation from Division 2A

Very Camogie League Division 3A Final, Abbotstown, Dublin 13/4/2024
Laois vs Armagh
Armagh players celebrate after the game
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan
Armagh defeated Laois in Very Camogie League Division 3A Final last month (©INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan ©INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan/©INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan)
Armagh City Hotel Ulster Intermediate Camogie Championship semi-final
Cavan v Armagh (Sunday, Kingspan Breffni, 12pm)

THE manner in which Armagh won the Division Three league final a fortnight ago puts them into the favourites’ spot to collect a second piece of silverware in another fortnight and shorten the run through to an eagerly anticipated All-Ireland junior run.

Two years ago they beat Antrim’s reserve team in the Ulster final, but the young Saffrons came back to bite them in the All-Ireland final.

Last year, Cavan edged Armagh 2-12 to 2-11 in a thrilling semi-final in Ballymacnab, before Antrim snatched the title in a 2-12 to 2-10 extra-time shoot out.

The Antrim reserve team, however, has suffered from the management fall-out at the start of the season, while Cavan were relegated from Division 2A after an uninspiring campaign. And that leaves Armagh ready to back up their league success with more silverware.

They will, of course, be wary of Cavan, who have given them a tough battle in every game in recent years. But Armagh’s league final performance should give them a lot of hope.

They dominated Laois defensively. It was into the second half before they conceded a score from open play and they were able to dig deep at the end after conceding 1-2 in injury-time.

Very Camogie League Division 3A Final, Abbotstown, Dublin 13/4/2024
Laois vs Armagh
Armagh's Head Coach Sean Hughes
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan
Armagh manager Sean Hughes (©INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan ©INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan/©INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan)

Two late points from Sinéad Quinn, one of their top players this year, and a pressure free from Rachael Merry got them over the line.

Sean Hughes also got a lift from his bench when he needed it during the second half, while the return of Shelly McGuigan and Eimear Hayes in defence and Ciara Geogeghan and Jenny Curry in attack adds a lot of experience to the team.

Cavan are a difficult team to play against. Their physicality means that you need to move the ball quickly and wide for the forward line to run on to. They also have an accurate free-taker in Clodagh Keenaghan and a dangerous goal-getter in Shanise Fitzsimons.

Discipline in the tackle and closing Fitzsimons down will be key to Armagh’s survival here.

Verdict Armagh to narrowly win a tough battle