Intermediate final set to be a family affair for Armagh
Two former Armagh players will return to Croke Park on Sunday hoping to see their daughters claim a slice of All-Ireland glory.
Noel Marley and Brian McAlinden played at Headquarters on numerous occasions during their distinguished careers but now it’s the turn of their children to step into the spotlight.
Sisters Niamh and Sarah Marley will be joined by siblings Mags and Grainne McAlinden in an Armagh side that will take on Waterford in the All-Ireland Ladies Intermediate Football final.
Mags McAlinden will captain an Orchard County side that beat Cavan in the Ulster final and then accounted for Longford in the All-Ireland semi-final to book their passage into Sunday’s decider.
While the McAlinden and Marley family representatives will bring experience to the table, the Armagh side also boasts a youthful hue with players such as Fionnuala McKenna, Ciara Lennon, Katie Daly, Sharon Reel, Cailin Duffy and Siobhan Mackle in the squad.
Liaison officer Sinead Reel believes that Armagh’s steady progress this year will be reflected in their performance on Sunday.
“While we don’t know an awful lot about Waterford we do know that they have been very much to the fore in ladies football recently and for this reason they must be treated with the utmost respect,” says Sinead who also acts as PRO.
“We have a number of players in our side who have good experience and this, we feel, will stand to us. The expectation is that there will be a big crowd travelling to support the team and that will certainly help the girls along.”
Meanwhile, Antrim captain Gerardine McGinley and her husband Enda will be pursuing their separate glory paths on Sunday.
Gerardine will lead Antrim in the All-Ireland Junior Ladies Football Championship final at Croke Park while Enda will lead Errigal Ciaran against Dromore in the Tyrone Senior Football Championship final.