Armagh host Louth this evening in search of their first win of the McGurk Cup. Both sides hoping to bounce back after opening round defeats.
The Orchard County trailed Down by the minimum of margins at the full time whistle, having wrestled back a ten point half time deficit.
The introduction of some experienced heads helped closed the gap. The likes of the Curry brothers Nathan and Odhran, Stephen Renaghan and Tiarnan Nevin coming on at the break.
Danny Magee’s accuracy from the dead ball helped Armagh stay in touch with the goals coming through Champions 15 All-Star Simon Doherty (penalty) and Shea Harvey.
Louth’s loss was much more devastating however. They suffered a 23 point drumming at the hands of QUB, who sit top of Section B.
Paul McCormack, former Armagh dual star, currently managers the Wee County, so he’ll know the challenge his side face.
The Keady native was part of the last team from the Orchard County to taste Nicky Rackard Cup success back in 2012 and also played his part in the 2010 win.
Louth fielded a number on inexperienced players on Tuesday, so will perhaps pick a stronger line up this evening.
It’s back to the Athletic Grounds on February 5th when the pair meet in the National League.
Armagh have been knocking on the promtion door of Division 3A for a few years now. They lost out to Donegal in the 2020 league final before finishing second behind Sligo last season.
Louth on the other hand earned promotion in 2021, bouncing back from promotion the previous year. 2020 was the last time the teams crossed paths, with Armagh edging through by one.
Tonight’s clash could see more non-regulars get game time as McCormack and O’Connor build towards a bigger meeting next month.