Armagh Ladies Club Finals

Armagh Ladies Club Finals

Ladies club football in Armagh reaches its ultimate stage this weekend with a feast of footballing action in the county on Saturday and Sunday in Silverbridge.

Proceedings begin on Saturday evening at 6pm when last years junior champions Killeavy take on last years beaten finalists Armagh Harps in the Intermediate Final.
Killeavy will be aiming to build on the momentum built since they made their championship breakthrough winning the junior title last year. Killeavy are backboned by county players Sharon Reel and Aileen Matthews and have no shortage of experience with Elaine Mallon, Cora Ann Trainor and Sinead Reel also former county players. This year Frances Quinn was centre half back on the Armagh minor team who progressed to the All Ireland semi final so Killeavy will fear nothing as they face Armagh Harps.

Armagh Harps are one of the most established teams in Ladies football in Armagh and are determined to go one step further than last year when they were defeated at the same stage of the competition by Cullyhanna. Through the years the club
has experienced much success with the 1993 team making a clean sweep of all competitions in only their second year in existence. The current team is built on the foundations of their all-conquering U14 team of 2003-4 who won county league
and championship as well as a Feile Title. Once these girls started to develop onto the senior stage Harps results improved steadily. After coming runners up in the Division 2 league in 2007 they went a step further and captured that title in 2008
before progressing to the intermediate final in 2009. Brenda Gill and current county player Paula Enright hold championship medals from 1998 so Harps will be hoping the twelve-year wait for a title will be ended on Saturday evening.

The second game of the day takes place at 8pm in Silverbridge where Granemore face Clann Eireann Seconds in the Junior Final. Granemore are playing in their first county final and currently are top of Division 3 so they will be hoping their successful league form will carry into the championship. Clann Eireann last won a junior title in the mid nineties and as they currently compete in Division 2 they will be slight favourites heading into the game. Despite this they were somewhat lucky to reach the final having been pushed the whole way by Tullysarron. The winners of the game will go on to represent Armagh in the Ulster championship facing the champions of Tyrone.

The senior final takes place at 6.30 on Sunday in Silverbridge. It is a repeat of last year’s decider where Clann Eireann defeated Carrickcruppen on a score line of 2- 18 to 1-08. The game promises to be an absolute cracker with both sides packed
with well-known county players. The teams know each other very well at this stage and Cruppen will be determined to make their breakthrough into the senior Ulster Championship, having previously reached the Ulster Junior and Ulster Intermediate
final. Caroline O’Hanlon is the heartbeat of the team but there are plenty of players able to step up and use their experience. Marian McGuinness, Caoimhe Murray, Rebecca O’Reilly and Caitlin Malone have all been involved with the senior county
team over the past two years and numerous players have represented Armagh at underage. There is a newfound determination and belief around Carrickcruppen and this could be their year.

Clann Eireann however are going into the game with a score to settle. The team is packed with quality with eight county players including Meabh Moriarty, Mags McAlinden and Shauna O’Hagan. The Lurgan team wont want to be beaten in their centenary year and will not relinquish the Marie Hoye trophy without a massive fight.
Clann Eireann feel they have underperformed in Ulster over recent years and will aim to overcome Carrickcruppen and show what they believe their true potential is.

Whatever the results, this promises to be a fantastic weekend of ladies football showcasing what is best in our games.

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