Madden vs Grange
There’s key game everywhere you look in Division 1B as five teams will be hellbent on gaining promotion.
Silverbridge, Grange, Madden and St Patrick’s Cullyhanna all sit on nine points with identical records from their previous six outings.
Clann Eireann all the while hold fifth position, just one point behind the leading quartet heading into the weekend.
The Lurgan side travel to Silverbridge on Sunday afternoon in a crucial tie while Madden will host Grange on the same day.
The Raparees caused one of the upsets of the year in 2020 as they knocked Ballymacnab out of the championship in the opening round.
Not only that, but Mickey Grimley’s men found a level of consistency during the league that they have craved for the last number of years.
They secured a five-game unbeaten league run following a loss on the opening day against an Aidan Nugent inspired Cullyhanna.
That included victories over Clann Eireann, St Peter’s, Mullaghbawn and Annaghmore as well as an away draw to Silverbridge.
Madden showcased some of their undoubted ability last summer and should have made it through to the championship semi-final.
The emergence of Joe Sheridan has added to an already strong attack that includes Aron McKenna, Conor Grimley and Ciaran Rafferty.
Ryan Grimley will once again lead from the middle of the field while Niall Smith and Peter Lappin are the main men at the back.
The defence could be up against it come Sunday as Grange boast one of the best attacking units in the division.
The McKenna brothers Miceal and Cathal are two of the best in the county while fit again Justin Kieran and Ben Toal offer serious assistance.
Star man Ethan Rafferty is out for the remainder of the year having recently undergone surgery on his knee.
Grange have former Antrim netminder Chris Kerr in their management team this season and it will be interesting to see his impact.
They also have a win under their belt as they completed their outstanding round five fixture last weekend.
They experienced a good start to the season when they saw off Mullaghbawn in a high scoring encounter, 3-10 to 2-10.
This weekend could prove massive for their promotion push, having incredibly come straight from Division 2B after winning the Intermediate Championship in 2019.
Madden look the more experienced side however and have been gunning for a spot in the top tier for a few years now.
This is sure to be one of the ties of the league and whoever comes out on top will be on their way to getting into one of the promotion spots.