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Down prepared for crunch All-Ireland clash

By John Campbell

Down will find themselves in a must-win situation when they face Kildare in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Intermediate Camogie Championship at Clonduff today (2.30pm).

Defeat would almost certainly ruin the Mourne side's prospects of reaching the semis since they have already lost to Meath and Galway. With their last scheduled fixture against Cork, Ryan O'Neill's side are under huge pressure to derive encouragement against Kildare, who have won once and lost once to date.

Paula Gribben will skipper a Mourne side including the consistent Niamh Mallon, Maria McNally and Catherine Rocks.

Down have been missing some players recently but O'Neill is summoning an all-out effort to ensure they remain in the All-Ireland title frame.

Meanwhile, their neighbours Armagh face a tricky mission against Roscommon in the Junior All-Ireland Championship tomorrow at Woodmount (3pm).

Even though the Orchard County are at the top of the table, they can take nothing for granted against a Roscommon side with a penchant for springing surprise results.

Armagh overcame the Rossies in the recent National League Division Three final but joint team bosses Jim McCormack and Paddy McArdle, both former county hurlers, acknowledge that result will be irrelevant.

Armagh's fusion of youth and experience can prove potent, though, particularly if they get off to an encouraging start.

Andrew McAlinden, Grainne Kelly and Bernie Murray represent the old guard while Rachel Merry, Leanne Donnelly and Collette McSorley normally carry a big threat up front.

Armagh are the only side still unbeaten in the tournament - an achievement they hope to preserve tomorrow.

Belfast Telegraph


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