By Niall Gartland
ARMAGH camogs were pipped at the post by Carlow in the Division 3A final, but they’ve set that disappointment aside as they look ahead to their Ulster Intermediate Championship semi-final against Cavan.
The scheduled has been tweaked in the last week as they were initially supposed to take on Cavan in the Intermediate final in a two-team competition.
But Antrim Juniors have now entered the equation as their Ulster Junior Championship final against Tyrone was scrapped as they wished to field the same essential line-up as won last year’s All-Ireland Junior final, by coincidence against Armagh.
So now they’re fielding in the Ulster Intermediate Championship instead and they now await the winners of this weekend’s semi-final between Armagh and Cavan.
Orchard County boss Sean Hughes, who is in his first season in charge, was a little miffed by the situation but added: “It’s a match anyway at this time of year which will be useful in preparing for the All-Ireland Championship.”
Reflecting on their league campaign which culminated in a 0-8 to 0-7 defeat to Carlow, Hughes says that nerves seemed to take hold of his players in the early stages of the contest.
“We had a decent league campaign but had a disappointing end with defeat to Carlow. It took a while to settle into the game. I don’t know what it was, possibly nerves, but the first half we didn’t get enough scores on the board and there were basic errors, but we played rightly in the second-half and could’ve won the game. It’s something we’ll hopefully learn from.”
They’ve had five weeks to prepare for their Ulster Intermediate semi-final and Hughes says he gave the girls a bit of time off after the Carlow match.
“We took a bit of a break around Easter week. There have been club games going on as well, but they’re back at it with the county and getting ready for the championship.”
Cavan have made serious strides on the camogie front and held their own in Division Two in the league. A few years ago, Armagh would have been strong favourites for this one but now the sides are much more closely matched.
“I wouldn’t know a lot about them but obviously they seem have gone well in Division Two, It’ll be a good test for us. They’ll be one of the favourites for the All-Ireland Junior championship as well, playing at that higher level in the league will have helped them and it’s going to be a tough task.”