Busy weekend for Ulster ladies teams

By Michael McMullan

SEVEN of the Ulster counties are in championship action this weekend with a full round of All-Ireland ladies games across the Senior, Intermediate and Junior grades.

League and Ulster champions Armagh go into their clash with Meath without key player Aimee Mackin who picked up a cruciate injury in the Ulster final win over Donegal. Shane O’Neill’s clubmate Louise Kenny is also a doubt after hurting her shoulder.

Also in the senior grade, beaten Ulster finalists Donegal will be hoping to bounce back when they take on Kerry in their opening game of the All-Ireland race.

At Intermediate level, both Cavan and Monaghan have byes and can take a look at their opponents in action for the threats in the next round.

2022 All-Ireland junior champions Antrim will travel to Roscommon this weekend looking to revers their 4-6 to 1-14 defeat on the final day of the league season that helped rubberstamp Saffrons’ relegation to Division Four next season.

Manager Emma Kelly was missing a host of key players including star forward Órlaith Prenter and the retired Kathy Carey.

The Rossies lost their opening game of the championship (2-11 to 1-11) to Wexford and will be keen to bound back this weekend.

Down were winners over Cavan in their first game with Niamh King bagging 1-5 in a 1-13 to 0-9 scoreline in Redhills.

It was King and Eimear Fitzpatrick who hit goals for Down against Monaghan in the Ulster Intermediate final earlier this season

Westmeath will be a tough opponent after finishing mid-table in Division Two but Down will see it as opportunity to continue the development from winning the All-Ireland Junior Championship last season.

The other Ulster team in the Intermediate story this weekend is Tyrone who welcome Wicklow.

The Red Hands were on the wrong end of a 4-12 to 5-8 thriller with Leitrim in Ballinamore in their group opener.

Sorcha Gormley (2-3), Maria Canavan (1-4) and star player Aoife Horisk were not able to stem the home side. A combined 3-9 from Leitrim duo Aibhe Clancy and Michelle Guckian made all the difference.

Tyrone will have home advantage in Dungannon’s O’Neill Park and will hope to bounce back with a win.

In the Junior grade, Derry were 1-15 to 1-6 winners over London in Ballymaguigan on Sunday with Orla McGeough to the fore with a 1-3 tally in a fine performance.

It will be the boost they need ahead of a rematch with CJ McGourty’s Fermanagh side who beat them in the recent Ulster Junior final.

Elsewhere in the group, Carlow had eight to spare over Sligo while the Erne County had a bye.

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


Gaelic Life is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW