LURGAN’S Niamh Henderson posted a hat-trick of points as Armagh ladies enjoyed success by 1-10 to 2-6 over Tipperary.
As a result, the Orchard County players have confirmed a semi-final in Division Three of the Tesco Homegrown-sponsored National League.
Troubled by shin splints this season, rising star Henderson – pictured right – marked her return to the starting side with a dynamic display on an afternoon when the other five Clann Eireann players who started last autumn’s All-Ireland Intermediate final were all absent for a variety of reasons.
With so many experienced players missing, the young guns stepped up impressively in support of captain Caroline O’Hanlon, who had just finished a 12-hour shift as a doctor in Daisy Hill Hospital but belied her lack of sleep with numerous surging runs.
The skipper settled a contest of fluctuating fortunes by slotting over a free in the penultimate minute to give James Daly’s side their fifth win in a row since sharing the spoils with Down in the opening game of the campaign.
Leitrim’s loss at Longford means Armagh have extended their lead at the top of the table and even a second draw of the campaign, when they themselves visit Longford next Sunday, would be enough to ensure Armagh finish first.