Nicky Rackard Cup – Semi Final
Armagh vs Mayo
Saturday 24th July – Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada – 1.30pm
Armagh are one win away from reaching their 8th Nicky Rackard Cup final since 2005 as they take on Mayo this weekend.
It’s a repeat of the 2016 showpiece. Mayo saw off the Orchard County 2-16 to 1-15 to claim their first ever Nicky Rackard Cup success.
Armagh have retained the services of several squad members from that season. Including Simon Doherty, Ciaran Clifford and the McGuinness brothers Artie and Eoin.
Peter McKearney and Odhran Curry were both brought in from the bench that day, but will have starting roles this weekend.
Mayo dual star Keith Higgins played centre half back in that game. He also helped the westerners reach the All-Ireland football final that same year, when they lost to Dublin.
He’s now retired from the big ball and all his attention is with the sliotar. He top scored in Mayo’s twenty-point win over Leitrim with 0-10.
Derek Walsh’s team earned two wins in the group stages, as they also saw off Donegal 2-14 to 0-17.
They will be without one of their star men on Saturday, however. Corner forward Shane Boland is set to miss out through suspension.
Armagh will likewise be down a man. Eoin McGuinness saw red the last day out against Leitrim and will watch on from the stands.
Padraig O’Connor’s side should still have enough to trouble the opposition. No doubt the main focus will be around Danny Magee.
The Sean Treacy’s sharpshooter has been key to Armagh’ success in recent years and has a keen eye for goal.
He rattled the net five times against Leitrim and also raised a green flag in his sides two-point defeat to Tyrone.
Fionntan Donnelly carried his league form into the championship and has chipped in with 0-13 in two games.
Mayo will head into this tie as favourites. They reached the decider last season, but just lost out to Donegal.
If Armagh can get over the line, they will set up an all-Ulster showpiece. Donegal take on Tyrone in the other semi-final.