Orchard county Armagh in full blossom but Down are outclassed
There were mixed fortunes for Armagh and Down on the All-Ireland camogie stage at the weekend.
The Orchard County staged a dramatic second-half revival to overcome Roscommon by 1-9 to 0-9 in a tense, hard-fought Junior Championship encounter at Woodmount but Down were outclassed by Kildare in the Intermediate Championship on a lop-sided 7-14 to 0-5 scoreline.
Things looked ominous for Armagh when they trailed by 0-6 to 0-2 at the interval against a Roscommon side that looked like engaging top gear.
But they rallied superbly and it was a goal from Colette McSorley, who also landed a brace of points, which was to prove instrumental.
Roscommon still held a tenuous 0-8 to 0-7 lead entering the last quarter with the accurate Kelly Hopkins their main source of scores but McSorley's vital strike was complemented by points from Ciara Donnelly, Bernie Murray and Leanne Donnelly.
The win will certainly bolster Armagh's confidence, although they face a hazardous road ahead.
The form of players like McSorley, Donnelly, Rachel Merry and Andrea McAlinden, however, offers considerable encouragement for the Orchard.
It was a different story for Down, though. Their pride was savaged by a Kildare side that maintained a relentless barrage of pressure throughout a one-sided game.
The Mourne players had simply no answer to the fitness and scoring power of their visitors to Clonduff, who led by 3-8 to 0-2 at half-time - by which stage the match was over as a meaningful contest.
The Down defence buckled time and again as Kildare racked up their 7-14 total against their opponents' meagre 0-5.
Down must now meet Cork, who have already cemented their claim for honours by overcoming Galway by 0-16 to 0-9, and the Mourne County's prospects of salvaging any element of consolation from the competition must be considered bleak.
That put them top of Group 2 with a 100% record from three games and as Kildare and Meath must play in a fortnight, only one of those teams can join the Leesiders on nine points.
In the All-Ireland U16 'B' Championship, Laois beat Antrim by 2-10 to 2-6. The quaintly-named Charlie McCarry certainly proved her worth for the Ulster side by scoring 2-3 and carrying a constant threat up front.
Had Antrim as a unit availed of more of the scoring chances that fell their way, they would almost certainly have come out on top.