St Patrick’s vs Clann Eireann
Division 2B is unbelievably tight at the top as five teams all have realistic ambitions of being promoted to the top tier.
Two of those sides clash this weekend with two points a great help in edging them closer to the top of the table and Division 1A.
Cullyhanna were relegated from the topflight in 2019 having just lost out on the league title on scoring difference to Ballymacnab the year previous.
2020 was a year to forget for Stephen Reel’s men, as they were knocked out of the opening round of the championship against Pearse Og.
They did enjoy an encouraging league campaign however, with wins coming over Madden, Annaghmore, Mullaghbawn and Silverbridge.
They suffered a heavy 7-12 to 1-10 defeat to Clann Eireann in the last outing of the year and will be out to right the wrongs of that game this weekend.
Aidan Nugent is still on the comeback trail from his cruciate injury and is unlikely to feature for Cullyhanna in the early rounds.
The county duo of Ross McQuillan and Jason Duffy also won’t be available this weekend as they attempt to keep Armagh in Division One.
They’ve lost Eugene Casey this season, as he has transferred to Dorsey and is lining out for the Emmett’s in the Junior division.
Barry McConville and Phelim Savage offer real power around the centre of the park, that has always been a key component of Cullyhanna’s play.
Youngster Caolan Reavey heads into his second year of senior football and is a real scoring threat for his side while 2019 Club All-Star Sean Og Irwin remains the main man at the back.
Clann Eireann on the other hand may look back on their 2020 championship campaign more fondly, as they reached the last eight.
They overcame a fancied Granemore in the first round before dragging Maghery to extra time in a game they could and should have won.
The Loughshore men had the experience to edge over the line, but Clann Eireann will take confidence in their ability to mix it with the eventual county champions.
They also defeated Mullaghbawn, Annaghmore, St Peter’s and Cullyhanna to currently sit two points of the top, with a game in hand.
The Lurgan side boast some of the best young talent in the county, demonstrated at county level recently with Conor Turbitt, Tiernan Kelly and Barry McCambridge all featuring in Armagh’s national league campaign.
They will however be without Ryan Owens, who picked up a season-ending knee injury against Silverbridge last weekend.
That game had to be abandoned due to Owens’ injury and will be rescheduled and played at a later date.
Two points would be huge for both teams as the hunt for promotion heats up, while neither will be troubled by the fear of relegation should they lose this weekend.