Hurling & Camogie

Tipperary a huge threat to Armagh’s All-Ireland junior camogie title hopes

Both sides bring 100 per cent records into this weekend’s clash

Rachael Merry
Rachael Merry points for Armagh during their Division 3B final win over Laois in March. The Orchard side havent really been tested since that game but will be this weekend when they face Tipperary for top spot in their All-Ireland junior championship group (J_Merry)

Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Premier Junior Camogie Championship, round four (Saturday, 2pm)

Group 1

Wicklow v Tyrone (Aughrim)

Tipperary v Antrim (The Ragg)

ARMAGH will face Tipperary in the Ragg in their first really competitive game since they edged Laois in the Division 3A league final back in April.

A superior scoring difference means that Armagh need only a draw to top the group and reach the semi-finals.

However last year’s beaten All-Ireland finalists Tipperary are well capable of pulling the rug from under their feet.

While Armagh were beating Laois in the 3A final, Tipperary lost the Division 2B final to Cork by 0-13 to 0-10. They should really be playing in the intermediate grade, but they lost their way against Clare when in a winning position in Croke Park last August.

A couple of that team moved up to the senior panel, but were replaced by some talented minors at the start of the year and many see them, not Armagh, as the favourites for the junior title this year.

Armagh, however, have been building well under Sean Hughes and they have got a lot of players back into the panel who were not there at the start of the season.

This is their big test, a win providing an easier passage to the final. A loss wouldn’t damage them badly, but probably put them on a collision course with Laois.

Tyrone also have a superior scoring difference to their opponents Wicklow in the head to head that will deliver a semi-final spot.

It will be hard enough for Tyrone to get the result they need in Aughrim, but they are coming together very well as a team.

Verdict Tyrone will reach the quarter-finals, but Armagh might also have to settle for a quarter-final.

Group 2

Laois v Roscommon (Mountrath)

Cavan v Limerick (Kilnaleck)

AFTER Christina O’Reilly’s spectacular goal in the third minute of injury-time last week in Roscommon, Cavan just need to avoid defeat in Kilnaleck to make the semi-finals.

Indeed, if they get anything from the game and Roscommon lose to Laois, Cavan would end up in second place in the group and that would mean that they would avoid playing one of the competition favourites in the quarter-final.

Cavan’s season has been far from encouraging; they were relegated from league Division 2A without winning a game and then dumped out of the Ulster championship by Armagh at the semi-final stage.

The championship began with a painful 3-15 to 0-2 defeat by Laois, but wins over Mayo and Roscommon during June has lifted the mood around the county and they go into the Limerick game with a good chance of making it through.

Limerick haven’t exactly been setting the place on fire, although they held Laois much better than Cavan and Roscommon beat them by four points in their two most recent games.

Home venue should assist Cavan.

Likewise Laois can also use home venue as an advantage against Roscommon.

The O’Moore county have recovered from a league final defeat to Armagh and shouldn’t be too far off the mark at the business end of this championship.

Verdict Wins for Laois and Cavan, meaning that they finish respectively in first and second places in the group, with Roscommon in third.