Daly’s ladies land Laois in last eight

August 11, 2014

Richard Bullick

Armagh ladies will have to wait until later today (Mon) to find out whether their All-Ireland quarter-final is to take place this Saturday or seven days later.

However, the weekend draw which paired them with Laois let the Armagh management begin specific preparations for a game the Orchard outfit are very capable of winning.

It is a good draw on paper for Armagh but veteran vice-captain Caoimhe Morgan has warned that there is no scope for even the slightest complacency in the ranks of this season’s surprise package.

Hammered by Dublin in the Leinster decider, Laois booked their place in the last eight by beating Cavan 3-10 to 1-10 on Saturday and are regarded as the least strong of Armagh’s possible opponents.

James Daly’s ladies couldn’t have drawn Monaghan because the teams met in the Ulster final, leaving the only options as Laois and two recent contenders for the highest honours, Kerry and Mayo.

In Saturday’s other ties in the last 12 stage of the competition, Monaghan beat Tyrone 1-16 to 3-7 in a battle between two teams Armagh accounted for this summer en route to lifting their first Ulster title since 2007.

Monaghan’s win was expected but things could have been different had Tyrone, who trailed by eight points to one early on, kicked 13 wides with captain Gemma Begley missing a penalty.

Kerry had defeated Donegal last Monday in a high-scoring affair by 1-22 to 2-14 while Westmeath pushed Mayo all the way before going down by the minimum margin on a 3-8 to 1-13 scoreline.

“It’s certainly not a bad draw and we’re positive about our chances but there aren’t any easy games at this stage of the competition so we’ll only win if we’re really sharp, hungry and play to our potential,” says renowned Orchard defender Morgan.

“While we’re happy with this, likewise Laois will probably be relieved not to get Cork and perhaps happy the Ulster champions aren’t Monaghan, so both teams will sense a great opportunity to get to an All-Ireland semi-final.

“Last year we were seen as getting the short straw when we drew Cork in the last 12 round yet we almost beat them, proving these big games are really up for grabs based on what happens on the day rather than previous results or reputations.”

The other quarter-finals see current All-Ireland and Munster champions Cork paired with Mayo, one of their stronger challengers of recent years, last year’s beaten finalists, Monaghan meeting Connacht champions Galway and Leinster champions Dublin are drawn with Kerry.