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Armagh get the chance to atone for traumatic Ulster final loss

John Campbell

By John Campbell

Armagh endured one of the most traumatic experiences in their recent history when they recently lost to Donegal by a whopping 9-21 to 4-8 in the Ulster senior championship final.

But fate has now decreed that the Orchard County should now have an opportunity to atone for that shattering setback.

The teams will now go toe to toe in the All-Ireland quarter-finals next weekend following their contrasting experiences on Saturday.

Armagh lost to Cork by 1-19 to 1-7 in the final group game but because their margin of defeat was less than 15 points they will renew their acquaintance with Maxie Curran's side who displayed typical grit and finishing power in getting the better of Kerry by 3-6 to 1-13.

And just as the Mackin sisters Blaithin and Aimee proved crucial in garnering the scores that sustained Armagh's gallant bid against a currently rampant Cork side, Geraldine McLaughlin once again emerged as the ace in the Donegal pack by swooping for eight points with Ailish Ward bagging what prove to be a vital goal.

For Armagh, the upcoming clash with Donegal provides an opportunity to prove that their recent Ulster final performance was nothing more than a temporary blip.

The All-Ireland senior quarter-finals line-up is: Dublin v Kerry, Mayo v Galway, Cork v Westmeath and Donegal v Armagh.

Meanwhile, in the intermediate sector Tyrone proved unstoppable in a runaway 7-17 to 1-10 win against Offaly.

Maria Canavan, Lycrecia Quinn, Aishling O'Kane and Niamh O'Neill shared in the Red Hands' goal-fest in a match which was all but over at half-time by which stage the winners had built up a 3-9 to 1-7 advantage.

Derry and Antrim, though, endured contrasting fortunes in the junior championship. The Saffrons put up a stern fight before going under to London by 3-13 to 2-14 having trailed by a point at the interval (2-5 to 1-7).

Derry were taxed to the limit by a battling Limerick side that competed tenaciously in difficult conditions and remained in touch with their hosts throughout at Ballymaguigan.

Derry's ability to hold their nerve and close out the game proved crucial in what for them was an extremely close call. Yet they fully deserved their 0-8 to 0-7 win, a fillip that could prove timely in terms of the team's growing maturity.

Belfast Telegraph


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