When Donegal and Armagh last met earlier in the summer in Division Two League final, the Orchard girls gave Donegal something of a football lesson.
Armagh won that game back in May by 12 points, 4-18 to 4-6.
Corner forward Aimee Mackin hit 2-5 and full-forward Fionnuala McKenna posted 2-2 for the Orchard girls, in a game that the Armagh inside two were given far too much room in Dublin’s Parnell Park.
Armagh had the game won at half-time as they led 3-10 to 2-2, after Donegal got off to a dream start with an Yvonne McMonagle goal inside 40 seconds.
Donegal did tighten up at the back following the introduction of Kate Keaney and Treasa Doherty to the last line of the defence, for the second half.
Armagh only added a further goal and eight points to their tally, Mackin accounting for 1-1 of that total. But the problem for Donegal was that the stable door had been left open for far too long.
“We learned a huge lesson in the league final,” Donegal captain Katy Herron insisted this week.
“We were far too open at the back and gave them far too much space. We learned a lot in that game and I don’t think we would have got this far only for all we learned from that game,” insisted the captain.
“We have definitely tightened up at the back and have given our full-backline greater protection in all our games since.”
Since the league final Donegal have played three games in the Ulster championship.
And the total conceded in those three games of 2-21 is less than they conceded in that one game against Armagh. They held Down to 0-4 in the first round, Tyrone to 1-7 in the semi-final and hot shots Monaghan to 1-10 in the provincial decider.
Lessons have definitely been learned but the real proof will be on Saturday against Armagh.
“Armagh are a good side. But we are a good side too and we are looking forward to Saturday. Everybody is fit and well and the girls are excited about being still involved in the championship. They just can’t wait for Saturday to come.”