2024 TG4 All-Ireland Finals tickets

Armagh Happy To Take Long Road

Armagh Happy To Take Long Road


Armagh fresh from an Ulster final victory over Tyrone will embark
on a protracted route through the all Ireland series this weekend,
four groups.. many expected to throw up some surprises will start
the ball rolling and the beaten all Ireland finalists of 2006
face Kildare.

A new champions league format was unveiled this year and with
sixteen live games on the way on TG4 the future of the new look
championship could prove to be a winner.

The jury is still out though claims Armagh mentor Hayley Boyle,

“ I am not convinced yet, it will take a while for things to
settle down and for the new format to take shape, I am sure that
when we get a couple of games under our belts then it might be
okay, but the jury’s still out”

Last year as Ulster champions Armagh were safely through to the
knock out stages of the all Ireland series, now winning the provincial
championship really only gave them the silverware and a seeded
place in the groups. In Armagh’s case that’s Kildare, Down and
Meath. Is then the future of the Ulster and other provincials
under threat?, Geraldine Giles is the president of the ladies

“ No, the provincial championships are vital to the association,
this is a revamping of the championship and it offers teams a
chance to face opponents they may not have a chance of playing
and indeed a chance for some to go further than they even imagined
in the past, it’s a new format and if it needs adjusting then
we will look at that, but it is an exciting time”

The support of TG4 has also been a major boost, this weekend
Mayo play Waterford and all Ireland champions Cork face Galway
in two live Saturday games. Armagh will feature as a live game
next Saturday as they face Meath while in round three its Tyrone
up for the TV audience as they play Sligo, but already there could
be some problems as the Tyrone men face an all Ireland quarter
final on the same day. Some tweaking may yet be a necessity and
a bit of co-operation by fixtures committees may certainly be

The feeling in some quarters is that the provincial champions
should have been escorted through now to the quarter finals and
in turn let the other sides battle it out for their right to face
the four, that’s not the case and for teams up and down the country
it’s a matter of getting on with it. Down are indeed in with Armagh
in group four, Donegal who lost to Tyrone in the Ulster championship
too will face Jimmy McCloughans side again in group three.

McCloughans side have had a steady build up but expect a tough
outing on Sunday. Mullaghoran plays host to their meeting with
Laois, Down take on Sligo at Newry and Donegal will play Sligo.

Armagh boss Boyle was happy to see her side claim the Ulster
title but knows the new route could prove a minefield,

“Whoever you play out of Ulster it’s always going to be difficult;
I don’t expect anything different now”

Tyrone are expected to make several changes for the trip to face
Laois, McCloughan though is happy with the way things have turned

“ We are going the right road, I watched the minors last week
and some of the girls we have with us in the senior squad from
that side impressed me, we have a couple of very experienced players
back in the squad and I will make changes this weekend, we struggled
at times in the Ulster final and we cant let that happen in this
championship group. It’s going to be hard but I think we have
the measure on most of the sides in our section”



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