For the third season running the Armagh Hurlers missed out on promotion to Division 2B having finished in second place behind Sligo.
It was their round two defeat to the Yeats County that ultimately decided their fate. Sligo topped the division with four wins from four outings.
Padraig O’Connor’s men did see off Longford Monaghan and Tyrone in their other three games.
Promotion will once again be the target for the hurlers in 2022. They look to return to Division 2A for the first time since 2018.
Of course, they continue to knock at the door of the Nicky Rackard Cup. But they just can’t seem to make the breakthrough at the moment.
A first round loss to the Red Hands, who avenged their defeat on the final day of the league campaign, sent Armagh to the quarter finals.
Nicky Rackard Cup
They were much too strong for Leitrim. Danny Magee’s five goal haul saw them through to the last four, 7-25 to 1-21.
Mayo lay in wait in the semi-final having topped their group with wins over Leitrim and Donegal.
The Connaught men, led by former footballing All-Star Keith Higgins now flying for the hurlers, proved much better on the day.
Armagh actually led at the half time interval, with goals from Simon Doherty and Fionntan Donnelly putting them 2-5 to 1-7 up.
It all changed after the turnaround as Mayo upped the ante. The Westerners progressed to the showpiece and eventually lifted the Nicky Rackard Cup after seeing off Tyrone.
No doubt Armagh remain one of the big hitters in the competition and will continue to battle to make the breakthrough.
Simon Doherty picked up a Champions 15 All-Star for his efforts this year and there’s a lot of talent in the Orchard ranks.
Fionntan Donnelly and Danny Magee carry the scoring burned while the experience of Nathan Curry should bolster their chances in the New Year.
Their season kicks off with the McGurk Cup next Wednesday, when they host Down in the Athletic Grounds.