Semi finals are for winning, even at this early stage of the season. Armagh have a superb chance to reach Saturday’s final when they face Monaghan in the Athletic Grounds tonight.
The pair clashed at the last four stage of the Ulster Championship last year. The Armagh faithful need no reminding of how that played out.
Armagh boss Kieran McGeeney suggests revenge won’t be on their minds ahead of tonight’s clash as they’re grateful for another outing.
“We look back on the Monaghan game as a game we lost ourselves. We gave that result away and fair play to Monaghan they took full advantage of it and were very unlucky in the Ulster final.”
“They’ll be happy with another game too. And they’ll be looking to put their best foot forward while still keeping players ready for the National League.”
“Next week will be a bit of a balancing act for everybody to try and get the best out of it.”
Recent McKenna Cup meetings between these two have went right down to the wire and tonight could be something similar.
The last three clashes in the competition have all been won by Armagh, by the minimum of margins on each occasion.
In 2019, Kieran McGeeney’s men saw off the Farney County to reach the decider, only to lose to Tyrone.
Another win this evening will set up a finale against either Derry or Donegal. Armagh continue their search for their first McKenna Cup success since 1994.
Monaghan, while second in the roll of honour, haven’t had much luck in the competition either. They last lifted the trophy back in 2003, although they did contest the 2020 final.
The league meeting in a few weeks time will be of much more significance. But both teams will want to get another game under their belts before the league starts.