Armagh GAA have come up with the brilliant idea of holding a #WinToStayIn Skills Challenge, consisting of 44 past and present players as well as some special guests thrown into the mix.
Special appearances include Winnie the Pooh, Donald Trump and Armagh TV’s Damian McCullough along with All-Ireland winners from 200, John Toal, Justin McNulty, Diarmaid Marsden and Steven McDonnell.
The Armagh Ladies are also well represented with Aveen Donaldson, Fionnuala McKenna, Kelly Mallon, Eve Lavery, Shauna Grey and Niamh Reel all involved.
The first Skills Challenge was to complete as many solos, using both feet, as possible in 30 seconds, with the winner of each game making it through to the next round.
Game One – Niamh Reel vs Conor Turbitt
Two of the rising stars in Armagh GAA circles went head to head in the first game of the Skills Challenge.
Silverbridge’s Niamh Reel completed 61 solos in the time provided with Conor Turbitt just falling shy of that mark, with 56.
Reel making it through to the second round!
Game Two – Patrick Burns vs Cathair McGeary
This challenge was the first of many where we witnessed the boundaries of the solo pushed to its very limits.
Aided by his pet dogs, encouraging him along, Patrick Burns raced to 86 solo’s in 30 seconds with Collegeland’s McGeary completing the skill 53 times, meaning Burns goes ahead into round two!
Game Three – Niall Grimley vs Blaine Hughes
Hughes took a leaf out of Paddy Burns’ book and left as little room between his hands and feet as possible.
These tactics again proved to work with the Carrickcruppen net-minder, and Jimmy Bullard impressionist, completing the skill 71 times, beating Grimley by 30 solos to book his spot in the next round.
Game Four – Aidan Forker vs Rian O’Neill
Armagh’s “attacking number four” met his match in Rian O’Neill, who was rocking Armagh’s 2002 All-Ireland winning jersey.
The Crossmaglen attacker stormed to victory with 79 solos in 30 seconds, overcoming Forker who completed the skill 45 times in the half a minute.
Game Five – John Toal vs Justin McNulty
A clash of two Armagh’s former stars, this match went right down to the wire and proved to be the tightest match up of the competition so far.
Toal stole victory with 38 solos in the time provided, shading McNulty’s score of 37.
Toal joined Niamh Reel, Patrick Burns, Blaine Hughes, and Rian O’Neill in the next round!
The games will continue tonight with 12 more contestants taking each other on in the #WinToStayIn.
Skills Challenge, so keep an eye on Armagh GAA’s social media platforms to see who makes it through to the second round.