Maghery vs Clann Eireann Preview

With Ballymacnab and Armagh Harps both exiting the championship earlier than expected, the mission of halting a rampant Crossmaglen side seems to have fallen on the shoulders of Maghery.

They’re seen as the only team with the power, aggression and footballing ability to go toe-to-toe with Stephen Kernan’s side.

Clann Eireann might have something to say about that however, and the Lurgan side will head into their quarter final clash full of confidence.

They have been suggested as a team with a bright future at the top end of the Armagh Senior Championship, but things haven’t gone their way over the last few years.

In fact, the last time they reached the quarter final was in the 2017 season, when they defeated Pearse Ogs and Dromintee to reach the last eight.

The year before, they were one game away from contesting a county final, having beaten Madden and Ballymacnab (twice) to reach the semi-finals.

Maghery put a halt to their progress that season with a convincing 2-17 to 1-9 victory. The margin should be much closer this time around.

Tonight’s affair could be a tactical one with both teams retreating into their defence and breaking out at pace.

Clann Eireann built a strong defensive wall in their first-round win over Granemore, with fourteen men behind the ball at times.

Shea Heffron is the rock that Tommy Coleman has centred his defensive structure around and he is the nominated sweeper.

That doesn’t been he won’t drive his men forward from deep, and when he does break, he has plenty of cover filtering in behind.

In fact, any of their covering players can break forward, with Ryan Owens and Barry McCambridge catching the eye the last day out with great scores.

Maghery have their own players who can cause trouble and Brian Fox continues to become a staring player for Finnian Moriarty’s side.

In the centre of the park James Lavery will once again look to dominate as both teams favour going long on their restarts.

Ryan Henderson and Conor Bell will offer stiff opposition and Clann Eireann have to break even at midfield to have a chance.

When they have the ball, they have the forwards who can do damage. Tiernan Kelly is an exciting young prospect at centre half forward and Oisin Lappin could be detailed to track him.

Conor Turbitt plays as an isolated attacker at times and he is the go-to man in the Clann Eireann forward division.

Brendan Haveron may be the one handed the role of derailing the influence of ‘Turbo’, which is a lot easier said than done.

Maghery walk into this clash as standout favourites and they have the knowledge of getting to this stage many times before.

The Forker brothers, Stephen Cusack along with the Lavery’s all know what it takes to get over the line on big championship days.

Clann Eireann are still somewhat inexperienced but confidence isn’t something that the Lurgan side will be lacking in.

If they can get off to a good start and keep the score down, they’re always in with a chance, but Maghery should have too much on this occasion.

Prediction: Maghery