Armagh are back in action this weekend, and for the first time in 2020, the Orchard Counties followers have been taken away from their Saturday night comforts and must venture out on a Sunday afternoon to support their side.
Cavan, Laois and Kildare have all come and gone and after three rounds Armagh are exactly where they want to be, top of the table with promotion firmly in their sights.
The Laois loss seemed to strike a vital blow to Armagh’s target but their response in round three was admirable. They not only had to battle a fancied Kildare side, but also contend with Storm Ciara and Kieran McGeeney’s men certainly rose to the challenge.
With the breeze bustling in their faces and a man down, Armagh stormed to a worthy six point win and displayed all the characteristics of a team that wanted to put some pride back in the jersey.
In the dogfight that is Division Two, Cavan, who lost to Armagh by 14 points, overcame Laois last Sunday, meaning that every team now suffered at least one loss and only two points separate top and bottom place.
Cusack Park this weekend will be no stranger to the visiting colours of orange and white as the last four times this sides have played, Mullingar has been the venue.
On three occasions Armagh have travelled to The Lake County under Geezer’s watch and have returned with a victory, twice during Championship season (2017 & 2018) and once in the league (2018).
Armagh will hope their winning run against Westmeath continues this weekend and if they can replicate a similar performance they produced the last day out, they should be well on their way to gaining their 3rd win of the campaign.
Westmeath currently sit in 3rd place in Division Two having accumulated the same number of points as Sunday’s opposition, and they have done so with wins over Clare and Fermanagh (both played at home), with Cavan the only glitch on their record.
John Heslin poses the biggest threat to the Armagh defence, having hit 0-13 in the opening three rounds; however only one score has come from open play, but his accuracy from dead balls should not be overlooked.
Aidan Forker is likely to go toe-to-toe with the Westmeath full forward, and following Forker’s excellent man-marking job on Kildare’s Daniel Flynn, there’s no doubt the Maghery man will relish another chance to display his abilities.
Ray Connellan is a huge figure around the centre of the park and is an inspiration within the Westmeath ranks. He loves to bomb forward at every opportunity and the former Aussie Rules player has hit 0-2 in every game in the league, so he will take some watching, with Niall Grimley likely to be handed the task.
There’s no doubt that Armagh have the quality in their ranks to claim victory on Sunday but they must come prepared for the contest as Westmeath will be confident of pulling off a shock.
Armagh seem to have learned the harsh lessons Laois taught them a few weeks ago and complacency shouldn’t creep into their mindset this weekend. With Division One still within their grasp, Armagh should produce a performance worthy of their place at the top of the table.