Tag: LGFA. Armagh LGFA

All Ireland Quarter Final Preview – Kerry v Armagh

TG4 All Ireland Ladies Quarter Final. 

Kerry v Armagh Saturday 12th August at 6.30 Nowlan Park Kilkenny

When Armagh travelled to Duagh last March to take on Kerry in a National Football League Division One encounter, the Kerry girls gave a defensive masterclass to hold the highly rated Ulster kingpins to just 9 points, and emerge as 2 point victors. 

The newly crowned Munster champions will be hoping for something similar next Saturday when they once again lock horns with the Orchard county in the TG4 All Ireland senior quarter final at 6.30 in a venue to be confrmed. 

Although they bowed out of the Ulster championship with a 1-14 to 1-10 loss to Donegal in June, this Armagh team have the players that are capable of causing Kerry a lot of problems. One of their most dangerous attackers is Aimee Mackin, an elusive forward with a lethal left leg ,whilst Caroline O’Hanlon at midfield has been regarded as one of the top players in the country over the last few seasons. Kerry managed to keep tabs on these two danger women in Duagh last March, with Lorraine Scanlon having a towering game on O’Hanlon, and the Kerry defence getting the numbers back to smother the best efforts of Mackin. Whilst these two are the marquee names on the Armagh team , they will have back up in the likes of Blaithinn Mackin, Niamh Marley, Clodagh McCambridge and Sinead Finnegan, all quality players in their own right. The Orchard county defeated Westmeath by 2 points in the last round of the qualifiers, and after racking up an impressive 3-16 on the scoreboard, their attack will have to be well marshalled once again if Kerry are to emerge victorious. 

Kerry are on a high since their recent 1-14 to 3-6 Munster final victory over Waterford and can report a clean bill of health going into next Saturday’s encounter. Although it is 5 weeks since they won the title, manager Graham Shine has not left rustiness creep in, and the Kerry girls have played a number of challenge matches in the intervening period. Their most recent game was against Galway, and although they were without Sarah Houlihan and Louise Ni Mhuircheartaigh, the Kerry girls aquitted themselves quite well despite going down by a 2 point margin.  

Kerry will have to plan without centre half forward Amanda Brosnan for the Armagh game however, and manager Shine admits that her loss will be hard felt. ” Amanda is going on a tour of South East Asia over the next few weeks and she is going to be a massive loss to us”, he said. ” She has been in great form and her work rate and honesty will be badly missed. Still though, I suppose it will give an opportunity to whoever replaces her to come in and stake a claim on the team”. 

Shine has also been well pleased with how some of his players have put their hands up for selection with their performances at training over the last few weeks. “Some girls have really impressed and are definitely in our plans. The competition at training is fierce and I think that we could pick from 20 players that could do a job for us on the day. That competition is healthy, and I think that we are in a good place going into the game. Armagh will be tough, there’s no doubt, but hopefully we will spark and have enough to come through in the finish”. 

If Kerry are to win they will need to take their chances when they present themselves. Armagh had a heavy emphasis on defence when the sides last met, and Kerry will have to counter this by moving the ball quickly in transition to stop the northern side from setting up their blanket once again. There is pace in this Kerry side to be able to do that . Houlihan , Ni Mhuircheartaigh, Laura Rogers and Anna Galvin have legs to burn and need to run at their opponents at every opportunity. The tussle between Scanlon and O’Hanlon will also be vital. If Scanlon can do a job on the Armagh girl, then Kerry will be half way towards victory. Kerry are likely to pick from either Caroline Kelly, Aislinn Desmond or Aisling Leonard to pick up Mackin. Any of those 3 are capable of curbing the Armagh star, but they will need support from their colleagues to do so. 

Kerry will have the confidence to win on Saturday. They have the experience of playing in big games, and the know how to claw out the results when needed. As well as that, the emergence of new young players like Hannah O’Donoghue, Sarah Leahy, and Sarah Murphy has given the team some freshness and vitality. Armagh will bring typical Ulster toughness and resilience to the play, but Kerry are well capable of mixing it in the physical stakes when needed. The carrot of an All Ireland semi final against either Waterford or Dublin on the 26th August is what both teams have to play for, and I feel that Kerry have the quality to do the job and emerge victorious by by 2 or3 points.