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Armagh can cope without Mackin sisters

DIVISION TWO SEMI-FINAL

ARMAGH V KERRY

Saturday, Athy, 1.30pm

THAT the high-flying Armagh ladies aren’t dependant on any one player is the message rammed home by their joint manager Lorraine McCaffrey.

Their scorer-in-chief Aimee Mackin, who was coincidentally named this week as the LGFA Player of the Month for March, isn’t available for Saturday’s Division Two semi-final against Kerry.

She and her talented sister Blaithin are currently in China as part of a trip with their club team Shane O’Neill’s, but McCaffrey says that would be no excuse for an underpar performance against Kerry this weekend.

“We’re obviously disappointed that players aren’t available but we’re very much focused on the squad and we’ve talked about the strength-in-depth we have and we’ve every confidence in the squad.

“We’re a team, we’ve never put any one player ahead of the rest, Aimee is a very good player but everyone else is just as important to us.”

The Orchard County have had a very successful league campaign, finishing top of the table with six wins from seven matches. They’ve also had two weeks to prepare after their closing group stage win over Wexford, while their opponents Kerry will be disappointed at losing for the second weekend in a row when they were defeated by Cavan at Fitzgerald Stadium on Sunday.

Preparations have gone well for Armagh but McCaffrey would have preferred that the scheduling had been sorted out earlier.

“The only thing is there was a bit of a delay in finding out the date and venue. We only found out yesterday evening (Tuesday) and that made things a bit more real for us. We’ve started out preparations in terms of logistics but it hasn’t detracted from our training in any shape or form.”

Armagh’s only defeat during the league was against Kerry on a scoreline of 3-16 to 2-15 so they’ve been well-warned about the Kingdom’s capabilities.

“It was a cracking game but we were disappointed in how we performed in the first 20 minutes. That’s something we addressed in our next performance, there were a lot of positives from the match, it’s all about who learns most from that game.”

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