Reeling in the title
All-Ireland Intermediate Ladies Football final
Armagh v Waterford
Sunday, Croke Park, 2pm
THE GLORY days may be about to return for Armagh as the Orchard county prepares for another Croke Park outing and another All-Ireland title bid this weekend.
Having claimed the All-Ireland junior title in 2005, Armagh came within a kick of a ball of beating kingpins Cork in the 2006 senior decider. Since then though, they have experienced a decline in fortunes through lean times, but with a batch of exciting youngsters to assist their experienced stars, they find themselves just one more win away from an All-Ireland intermediate championship win.
One of those stalwarts who has enjoyed a resurgence this season is Sharon Reel. She was travelling in Australia when Armagh claimed the All-Ireland title in 2005, but returned to the inter-county fold for the 2006 campaign. Those were heady days for the Orchard county as they mixed it with the best in Ulster, but she believes that such are about to return.
“There were so many stalwarts around that time, everything was so focused and the intensity of training was incredible. I really enjoyed being part of all of that, we had some fantastic days and some great achievements.
“I think that when things started to decline, it was those girls who had been there through those glory days who found it very hard to take. Things started to go downhill, there were injuries, girls got married or moved away, or were involved in jobs which meant that they could not make the commitment.”
The full story is in the current issue of Gaelic Life, published on Thursday September 27. Buy your copy now in your local newsagent, or you can purchase the online version – for only 90p – by clicking here