LURGAN schoolgirl sensation Niamh Henderson has been named in the Ulster squad for this weekend’s ladies gaelic inter-pro tournament at Kinnegad.
The talented youngster and her experienced Clann Eireann club colleague Sinead McCleary are among five Armagh players picked by manager Gregory McGonigle as Ulster seek to defend the title won last season.
All Star Caroline O’Hanlon won overall Player of the Tournament last year and the former Craigavon Hospital doctor, the only squad member appearing in her seventh successive inter-pro series, will again front the northern province’s challenge.
The other two Orchard call-ups are Henderson’s fellow rookie, Fionnuala McKenna of Armagh Harps, and veteran defender Caoimhe Morgan, who won an All Star back in 2006.
For two teenagers from a Division Three side to be selected shows just how highly rated Henderson and McKenna are and rubbing shoulders with and against the top players in the country can only benefit both.
Newly crowned Armagh Sportswoman of the Year McKenna has been exceptional in 2013 with Henderson showing glimpses of her huge potential in spite of being bothered by shin splint problems.
Last year, O’Hanlon and McCleary were two of only three players from outside the big three counties of Monaghan, Tyrone and Donegal but Armagh’s increased representation reflects the Orchard’s renaissance over the past 12 months.