By Shaun Casey
BACK-TO-BACK Armagh champions Clann Éireann are 60 minutes away from an Ulster final appearance, but Greg McGonigle’s side won’t let their minds drift that far ahead just yet as they face a huge test on Sunday (2pm) against Antrim opposition.
They take on Moneyglass, a team who overturned Donaghmoyne in the Ulster quarter-final, in their first defeat outside of a provincial decider since 2003. Clann Éireann, having played the Antrim champions a few times in challenge games, know they will be up against it.
“Donaghmoyne were no easy task over there so Moneyglass beating them, especially having had that loss against them in an Ulster final last year, they can definitely take a lot of confidence from that,” said Clann Éireann and Armagh defender Clodagh McCambridge.
“It’s kind of blown the competition wide open and I’d say for them, that was a big one and it gives everybody an opportunity to look forward to these semi-final and anything could happen, anyone could get into a final, which is great as well.”
“I suppose we haven’t played them too much in terms of proper competitive games. We’ve played them a few times in challenge games over the years which is good to get a look at them then. We’ve seen them play and we’ve matched up against them a few times.
“We know they have a lot of quality with the likes of Órlaith Prenter and Maria O’Neill, they have some brilliant scoring threats. But they’re also really well organised at the back too so they have threats all over the place.”
McCambridge could be the one to go toe-to-toe with Moneyglass and Antrim’s star forward Prenter, who hit 1-6 against Donaghmoyne.
“I’ve marked her the odd time in challenge games,” added McCambridge. “She’s really pacy and she can take her scores well.
“We don’t know what the match-ups are going to be just yet but she’s going to be a handful for whoever is going to be taking her on, obviously with the support of everyone else around her in our defence.
“But from the front to the back, they have pace all over the place and their forwards and backs are well capable of pushing forward and taking scores. They have threats that we’ll be looking at them from back to front so it’s just trying to mediate that as much as possible.”
McCambridge said that it’s an honour to play an Ulster Championship game on home turf but doesn’t think it will have much impact on the outcome.
“Moneyglass went and beat Donaghmoyne at home which definitely was a big ask of them, but they were able to do that, so I’d say they won’t be reading too much into us having home advantage.
“I think as a club, our team feels really lucky and proud to be able to represent our club and our county in an Ulster semi-final, they don’t come around too often.
“We didn’t get this far last year so just having the chance to go out and represent our club in our home ground is something special.”