The 2017 Armagh hurling finals take centre stage this Saturday in the Athletic Grounds and the familiar pairing of Keady Lámh Dhearg and Middletown Na Fianna in the senior final has the whole county looking forward to what should be a memorable showpiece.
The two sides will be desperately keen to claim the senior title for 2017, with the winners going through to represent Armagh in the Ulster Intermediate championship.
Keady come into the final having claimed a big victory over Lurgan’s Seán Treaceys who had just moved up to the senior ranks following their victory in last year’s Junior championship. Middletown, however, can consider themselves relatively lucky as they just about overcame Armagh Cúchulainns by the minimal of margins last day out. Both sides have plenty of experience in their ranks and will be well used to the big occasion. Backboned by the Gaffney clan, the Curry brothers and Carvill cousins, Middletown are a very tight unit and with Tiarnán Nevin excelling for Armagh hurlers this year, they will also be able to rely on Kieran McKernan, Paddy McBride and Chris McCann to bring their expertise to the table. Keady can also look to their county players for inspiration with the Corvans, Dylan McKenna and Stephen Renaghan coming back into contention following a lengthy lay-off, joined by Nathan Greene in defence and Paul McCormack upfront. Middletown will be aiming for three in a row, but Keady will be determined to claim back the title they last won in 2014. With one of the biggest rivalries in Gaelic sports in Armagh, this year’s county final is sure to pull a big crowd to enjoy the highlight of the small ball in the Orchard county.
Meanwhile, the Junior final should prove to be just as intriguing with an up-and-coming Killeavy side taking on an experienced Derrynoose set-up. With last year’s champions Sean Treacey’s moving up to senior level, Derrynoose received a bye into the final, while Killeavy overcame Craobh Rua 2-17 to 2-9 last Wednesday evening. Killeavy, who last won the title in 2014, are in the final for the second year in a row and will be hoping for a repeat of last year’s semi-final victory over Saturday’s opponents. Derrynoose have plenty of talent within their own ranks and having underperformed in the championship in recent years, will look to the likes of Paddy Kelly, Peter McKerney, Stephen Keenan and David McCreesh to drive them on to an Armagh Junior championship.
Keady Lámh Dhearg V Middletown Na Fianna
Senior Hurling Championship Final
Athletic Grounds 6:30 PM
Referee: Kieran Rice
Derrynoose v Killeavy St Moninna
Junior Hurling Championship Final
Athletic Grounds 4:30 PM
Referee: Michael Loftus