Armagh Hurler back in action

The Hurlers get their league campaign back on track this Sunday after enjoying the mid league break, and they now look to push hard over their final three games to guarantee their spot in the league final.

Armagh have made no secret of their target for the league campaign and their eyes on firmly fixed on that Division 3A final, which they lost to Roscommon last season.

They’ve certainly made a great start in making that goal a reality, and this Sunday they have the chance to extend their unbeaten run.

Up next is Longford and Armagh must make the long haul down south before finishing up their league campaign with two home games, against Tyrone and Louth.

Having already claimed two impressive victories in the first two rounds, over both Donegal and Monaghan, Armagh aim to make it three from three and get one step closer to promotion.

They last met Longford in round one of this year’s pre season competition, the McGurk Cup, and won convincingly by double scores, 3-11 to 2-4 while they also beat Longford in the Nicky Rackard Cup last season

The sides clashed in round three and Armagh were again victorious that day, winning by a big 10 point margin away from home, 0-24 to 0-14, so they will travel with some confidence this weekend.

As our scoring charts indicated, Eoin McGuinness leads the way as top scorer for his side, having grabbed three goals in the first two rounds, two of which game the last day out against Monaghan.

McGuinness is a serious handful on the edge of the square and Armagh will test the Longford full back line with long, direct passes to the Newry Shamrocks man as he hopes to continue his good scoring form.

Armagh enjoyed a handy day at the office against Monaghan, firing 3-25 past the Farney men during their 21 point destruction. They will hope for a more challenging contest on Sunday, although their last two meetings with Longford don’t offer much hope of a game that will go down to the wire.

In saying that however, this game is a top of the table clash as Longford are the only other team in Division 3A that have yet to been defeated, having won their opening two games, sitting on equal points with Armagh.

In round one Longford overcame Monaghan by four points, experiencing a much tougher test than the one Monaghan provided Armagh with, while in round two they beat Louth by five points, 1-15 to 1-10.

Longford’s man attacking threat is full forward Alan Ward, who struck 1-9 of his sides 2-16, on his debut against Monaghan on the opening day of the season, with seven of his points coming from the dead ball.

Armagh have been scoring heavily, with Dean Gaffney and Danny Magee sharing 15 points between them over the first two games and they will hope their scoring form continues for the remainder of the league.

Paddy McBride excelled in the centre of the park against Monaghan while Captain Nathan Curry adds a bit of strength around that area as well as being able to swing over long range frees.

Ciaran Clifford and Artie McGuinness are two experienced defenders and they hold the fort in front of net minder Fintan Woods, who have been excellent between the sticks so far this season.

Recent history and form points to an Armagh victory this weekend, but the Orchard County will know better than to take anything for granted.