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Armagh’s strength in depth has made the difference, says Caroline O’Hanlon ahead of Ulster final

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Key role: Caroline O’Hanlon will aim to exert control at midfield for Armagh. Credit: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Key role: Caroline O’Hanlon will aim to exert control at midfield for Armagh. Credit: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Key role: Caroline O’Hanlon will aim to exert control at midfield for Armagh. Credit: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Long-serving Armagh midfield ace Caroline O’Hanlon is in no doubt as to one of the main reasons why her county will be facing Donegal in the Ulster ladies senior football championship final at St Tiernach’s Park, Clones tomorrow (3.45pm).

Without any doubt, the competition for starting places has been a huge factor in our arrival in this final,” stresses O’Hanlon, “In every match players have been brought on from the bench and have impressed. This has left the management facing selection posers but I’m sure they wouldn’t want to have it any other way.”

O’Hanlon’s impressive form in the central area, the dynamic scoring power of Aimee Mackin, Kelly Mallon and Eve Lavery and the formidable authority of Clodagh McCambridge at the heart of a solid defence have been key factors in taking Armagh to within striking distance of the title they won last year.

But while O’Hanlon believes that Armagh’s consistency has fuelled optimism for tomorrow’s showdown, she is adamant that the team is “not reading too much” into their 5-21 to 0-5 semi-final win over Monaghan.

“I think Monaghan had an off-day on that occasion while we were fortunate to make the most of our scoring chances. Tomorrow will be a whole new ball game against a Donegal side that have won the title several times within the past decade,” stresses O’Hanlon.

Donegal, who overcame Cavan at the semi-final stage, boast considerable fire-power in their attack with proven match winners in Geraldine McLaughlin, Yvonne Bonner, Suzy White and Karen Guthrie although there is a doubt about Guthrie’s fitness.

Manager Maxie Curran parades a side that is an amalgam of youth and experience and while the team’s attacking resources are familiar, players such as Evelyn McGinley, Tanya Kennedy and Niamh McLoughlin have also come to the fore of late.

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Donegal’s penchant for playing on the front foot can often discomfit opponents but Armagh’s experience and cohesion could prove invaluable assets in coming to terms with this in what could prove to be a riveting contest.


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