Predicted teams and match ups – Maghery vs Pearse Ogs

A huge opportunity presents itself for both these side on Saturday evening, a spot in the Senior Championship Final the prize for the winner.

It’s been eight years since the Armagh city side have reached the decider, and eleven from the last lifted the Gerry Fegan trophy.

Maghery haven’t had to wait quite as long, winning their one and only championship title in 2016 while competing in the showpiece the following year.

Shane McConville was the man who led Maghery to both finals but now will stand in the opposite corner, driving on the Ogs this weekend.

Team selection and match ups will be huge for both teams and have surely given both McConville and his opponent Finnian Moriarty plenty of headaches all week.

The teams could line up defensively, both mirroring each other and playing on the counter attack, while getting plenty of bodies round the middle of the field.

How the starting teams may look when the sides take to the field on Saturday evening.

Maghery match ups

Anto Duffy is likely to be the focal point of the Pearse Og attack and will line out at full forward for long periods of the game.

McConville’s side will target his aerial prowess and look for Duffy to claim advanced marks and cause trouble inside.

Ciaran Higgins played at full back the last day out, performing well on Conor Turbitt and could remain in that position this weekend.

Higgins is fairly adaptable and if Duffy decides to drift further out the field, Higgins will likely track him and will be comfortable wherever he plays.

Paul Duffy has been central to his side for years now and is always an attacking threat, fit to take a shot as well as set up scores.

Oisin Lappin has moved out from his full back position but is most comfortable when handed a man-marking role and will shadow the older of the Duffy brothers.

James Freeman has pace that can cause problems for any defence, so Maghery will make sure his influence is limited.

If Stephen Cusack can make the starting line-up, he is likely to sweep in front of his full back line and cut off possession as well as driving forward on the counterattack.

Cusack is often the heartbeat of the Maghery defence, and his side will hope he is available for selection, having been replaced minutes after coming on against Clann Eireann due to an injury.

Ciaran Higgins and Oisin Lappin are likely to be handed the roles of keeping the Duffy brothers quiet.
Check out our Preview Podcast! We discuss both of the semi finals coming up this weekend!

Centre-field tussle

We will witness two contrasting styles from the opposing keepers. Ryan Kearney will look to go short while Caolan Hendron can bomb the ball out to the middle.

James Lavery has been the standout midfielder in the county for at least half a decade, his fielding ability unmatched.

The loss of Ben Crealey may offer some hope to the Ogs in this area, as they will try to deny Maghery primary possession.

Chris Rafferty has been a great servant for Pearse Ogs and he will be instructed to simply break every kick out that comes towards Lavery.

Anto Duffy is always an option to drift out to the centre of the park should he be needed, while Vincy Brady and Conor McNicholl offer further options.

There will be plenty of bodies around the middle third of the field with both teams keen to win the break ball.

An option for the Ogs may be to drop off the Maghery kick outs and let Hendron go short, giving them time to build their defensive formation, instead of challenging Lavery and co in the middle.

Deny James Lavery primary possession will be the name of the game for Pearse Ogs, with bodies around the middle to claim the break ball.

Defensive formation

Pearse Ogs will undoubtably get men behind the ball and try to break forward through Shea Freeman and the likes on the counterattack.

They will still need to get their match ups right to deny Maghery the chance to get ahead of them on the scoreboard.

Aidan Forker started at full-forward against Clann Eireann and is likely to line out in this position once again come Saturday.

Sean Sutton is back from suspension and is usually the Pearse Ogs go-to man-marker and should line up against Forker.

If the Maghery number fourteen decides to drift out the field, Sutton may hand marking duties over to the likes of Brady.

Stefan Forker is another that needs watched and he performs a working half forward role rather than an inside scorer that we had come accustomed to.

Vincy Brady usually tries to drop back as sweeper, but could see himself lined up against the older Forker brother.

David Lavery offers serious pace at centre half forward, matched by Shea Freeman who will love to attack should Lavery drop into a defensive position.

Brian Fox is now one of the key players for Maghery and he favours bursting on to the play from deep and running at defences.

Liam Gilsenan looks to be the best option to pick him up and will have to travel out of his comfort soon as Fox spends a lot of his time out the field.

Gerard Barton may take a free role, but should pick up Brian McIlmurray if he plays any part in the contest.

Pearse Ogs will flood men back behind the ball but still have to go man to man on certain players to limit their influences.