ARMAGH ladies skipper Mags McAlinden is hoping to be back from injury for Sunday week’s Tesco National League semi-final against Tipperary.
The Clann Eireann forward hasn’t played since lifting the Mary Quinn Cup in Croke Park last October after Armagh’s victory over Waterford in the All Ireland Intermediate final due to damaged knee ligaments.
But in her absence acting captain Caroline O’Hanlon has led the Orchard outfit to six straight victories, with the 2-9 to 0-8 win at Longford last week ensuring Armagh finished clear at the top of the Division Three table.
With two teams due to be promoted, victory over Tipperary would elevate James Daly’s side to the second division for next season and set up a shootout for silverware with either near neighbours Down or Longford, who meet in the other semi.
Armagh made the most of having a very strong wind behind them in establishing a 10-point interval lead and holding on for a convincing victory over a Longford side which was squeezed out of the top four play-off places on points difference.
Mairead Tennyson top scored with 1-2 while former Craigavon Hospital doctor O’Hanlon herself kicked four points and there was a debut goal from teenager Siobhan Feeney.
McAlinden’s experienced clubmate Sinead McCleary, who has missed Armagh’s last three matches due to a midwifery placement in Malta, will also be back for the semi-final.