Armagh hurlers head into the Division 2B final at Dowdallshill in Dundalk on Saturday having won four out of their five games. Their only loss came on the opening day of the campaign against Saturday’s opponents, familiar foes and near neighbours, Down. The Orchard hurlers however, fully deserve their spot in Saturday’s final having put in a number of big performances with a win against Donegal followed up by a great result away to Wicklow and two impressive home wins against Meath and Mayo. Down meanwhile accounted for Armagh and Wicklow, before surprisingly falling short against Mayo at home, and then recovering well with a big win away to Donegal and a home win against Meath.
Looking back over a positive league campaign to date, Armagh corner forward Conor Corvan admits that the division was very competitive. “From an Armagh point of view, I think that as the league went on we improved as a team. The Wicklow and Meath results were vital for us, but on any day, any team in the league could have beaten each other.” Armagh’s biggest win came against the Royals with a super performance in front of a bumper crowd in the Athletic Grounds, despite missing one of their key players, Eoin McGuinness and the win over Mayo came in the absence of the injured Nathan Curry. Conor went on to point out, “We have a strong panel of players this year and when a player has been injured or suspended, it hasn’t affected how we have played. There is a very strong bond between the players and we all want to achieve the same thing for the season ahead.”
Down have held the upper hand over Armagh in hurling terms in recent years and will be looking to get the better of the Orchard yet again on Saturday. Armagh know that they will be up against it and they will be all too familiar with the skill level of the Down team and particularly of the coaching abilities of Michael Johnston, having played under him when he was in charge of Armagh. Looking back at their opening day defeat however, Armagh will have felt that it was a game they should have got something from, as Corvan explained “We know that we didn’t play for the full 70 minutes the first day against Down, but it’s a new challenge on a new day and everyone is looking forward to Saturday’s game.”
The Division 2B final will take place at 2pm on Saturday at Páirc Naomh Bríd, Dowdallshill in Dundalk. Armagh hurlers have been gathering admirers right across the county this year and we encourage our supporters to get behind them this Saturday as they play in their first league final in many years. Guíonn muid gach rath ar Sylvester, ar a fhoireann bhainistíochta agus ar na h-imreoirí Dé Sathairn. Armagh GAA sends best wishes to Sylvester, his management team and the players in the league final on Saturday.