The Armagh hurling championships get underway this week with the senior semi-final between Middletown and Keady on Thursday evening and a double header of semi-finals in the junior championship on Saturday evening.
Thursday’s semi-final at 7.30pm at Pearse Óg has been eagerly anticipated as 2015 champions Middletown Na Fianna will face their old adversaries and 2014 champions Keady Lámh Dhearg. Both sides have a number of county men to look to for inspiration on Thursday night and it is sure to be a tight contest. In the recent Ulster league game, it was Keady who won 0-20 to 1-12, but there is only one point between them in the league standings. Last year’s final between the two sides saw Middletown grab the bragging rights after a low-scoring 2-10 to 1-8 win, but Keady will be determined to turn their rivals over this year to reach the decider against Armagh side, Cuchulainn’s.
The junior semi-finals on Saturday evening will also be played at Pearse Óg with Derrynoose up against Killeavy in the first game at 5.30pm. Derrynoose will go in as favourites, having beat Killeavy in the Ulster Táin league a couple of weeks ago and will look to their county contingent of Paddy McGrane, Aaron Fox and Paddy Kelly to push them on.
2015 champions Seán Treacey’s play Craobh Rua in the second game at 7.00pm. Seán Treacey’s won last year’s championship, having experienced the narrowest of defeats in the two years previous and going by results in the Ulster league, it is clear that they have been working very hard to improve the standard of hurling in the club. Currently sitting at the top of Division 2B, they will go in as favourites against a Camloch side who will look to their star player, Fiachra Bradley, to inspire them.
Pictures: Middletown Na Fianna won the 2015 Armagh Senior hurling championship
Seán Treacey’s, Lurgan won the 2015 Armagh Junior hurling championship