Senior success is inspiration for the Minors

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Tommy Coleman’s Armagh Minors are aiming to maintain the upbeat mood in local ladies gaelic circles with victory over Tipperary in Saturday’s All Ireland B semi-final against Tipperary at St Peregrine’s in Dublin (4pm).

The Lurgan man hopes his young team will be inspired by the Orchard county senior side’s stunning success in the Ulster Senior Championship final against Monaghan in Clones.

His skipper Louise Kenny played an important part in that triumph and the promising schoolgirl who captained Shane O’Neill’s to the Ulster Junior Club Championship last year will be a key figure for Armagh this weekend.

So will her clubmate Aimee Mackin, the Northern Ireland international soccer star who has proved a prolific forward at all levels so far and notched 1-8 in the Ulster Minor B final.

Armagh Minors got their Ulster Championship campaign off to a stunning start by scoring 15-22 in their opening game against Down but injury to inspirational skipper Kenny and the unavailability of Mackin hit them hard.

Their hopes of taking the Ulster title evaporated but winning the provincial B final against Donegal salvaged something from an often frustrating spring and gives Coleman’s team the chance of following in the footsteps of the class of 2011.

Three years ago Armagh Minors won the All Ireland B title under James Daly and a number of that team are now established stars in his successful senior side.

Mackin isn’t the only multi-talented player in this Armagh Minors side, with Coleman’s daughter Niamh being a top-class handballer and her clubmate Clodagh McCambridge an age group international netballer.

Meanwhile, Clann Eireann took an impressive step towards yet another Armagh Senior Championship final with an emphatic 8-14 to 1-14 victory in last Wednesday night’s quarter-final at Armagh Harps.

Sarsfields received a bye into the last four of the Mackin’s Intermediate Championship while there were contrasting fortunes for St Peter’s and St Paul’s at Junior level with victory over Granemore and defeat to Dorsey respectively.