2024 TG4 All-Ireland Finals tickets

Orchard girls mature enough for Rebels

Orchard girls mature enough for Rebels
ARMAGH may be underdogs for Sunday’s TG4 All-Ireland
ladies football final because they have reached it in their first
senior season but Galway captain Lorna Joyce won’t underestimate

Like the Orchard women, Galway made a quick transition from winning
a junior title (2002) to reaching the senior final (2004).

Armagh have done it even quicker, in successive seasons, but Joyce
says they have one advantage.

“When we won we had a very young team but Armagh’s average
age is much older, they’ve been playing together a long time and
have a lot of experience.

“The fact they won the junior final in Croke Park last year
means they won’t be a bit fazed,” said Joyce.

Having been pipped by Armagh in a controversial semi-final climax,
Joyce is well placed to assess their strengths and says there may
be little between themselves and reigning champions Cork in Sunday’s

“Armagh make everything really hard for you, they chase everything
and never give up. The move the ball very quickly but Cork will
be favourites, especially the way they’ve played this summer,”
Joyce said.

But Armagh are hoping their two-year momentum holds.

Captain Brona O’Donnell says it is hard to explain Armagh’s rapid
progress since first getting a county team together nine years ago.
“We were lucky that a strong group of players all came through
together and our preparations have become very professional,”
she says.

Both senior finalists have named unchanged sides for Sunday’s final
but in the fascinating curtain-raiser Leitrim have made one change
– Carla Creegan for Amanda Sweeney at half-back.

CORK (SF v Armagh) – E Harte; B Corkery, A Walsh, R Buckley; G O’Flynn,
B Stack, S O’Reilly; J Murphy (Capt), N Kelly; N Cleary, D O’Reilly,
A Murphy; V Mulcahy, M O’Connor, C Creedon.

ARMAGH – F McAtamney; C Marley, F Quinn, A Murphy; R O’Mahony, B
O’Donnell(C), S McCleary; A O’Donnell, C O’Hanlon; M Tennyson, S
Duncan, S O’Hagan; M O’Donnell, M McAlinden, A Matthews.

SLIGO (JF v Leitrim) – K Connolly; F Maye, G O’Gara, M Keane; T
O’Hara, C Kennedy, L Harte; B Byrne, S McTiernan; E Flanagan, S
O’Reilly, A Doohan (capt); H Haran, N Gormley, T Marren.

LEITRIM – L Loughlin; E Kelly, S Brennan, M Stenson; T Mylott, E
McGlade, C Creegan; M Quinn, S McLoughlin; M McKeon, L Brennan,
S Kerrigan; AM Cox (capt), S Quinn, A Kelly.

Cliona Foley Irish Independent

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