Hampsey anticipating “good” battle with Rian O’Neill

Padraig Hampsey is eyeing up a tough battle with Armagh star forward Rian O’Neill this weekend as the Orchard host Tyrone for round two of the National League.

Speaking on The GAA Social podcast, the Tyrone captain described his relationship with O’Neill. Someone who his has a lot of respect for.

“Rian O’Neill, for his first day out in Croke Park, put on an exhibition (against Dublin). Kicking scores and even just in round the middle third at times he was getting on a lot of ball. He had a lot of possessions.”

It’s not the first time that Hampsey will try to blot out the Crossmaglen sharpshooters influence. The pair have matched up at both club and county in recent years.

Rian O'Neill in action against Rian O'Neill last year
Photo Credit: John Merry

“He’s a great player, I’ve come up against him a few times. I played them in 2018 in the Ulster club (Coalisland vs Crossmaglen) and marked him that day and I find that he’s a great player.”

“I don’t think there’ll be much said (between the two). We’ve marked each other before and again there’s just that respect. Just knowing that he’s such a great footballer and I respect him for that. And I’m sure it’ll be a good battle.”

Impressed with Dublin victory

There will be so many key match ups going on all around the field in what promises to be a tense and memorable afternoon.

Hampsey, a two-time All-Star winner, was also impressed with Armagh’s win over Dublin last weekend.

“They played a nice brand of football and to be honest they looked flying fit, they’re in great condition. I think a lot of their lads did impress.”

“I think whenever Armagh had seen what they done last week whenever they got to Croke Park, they’ll have their eyes on further afield. Maybe trying to win Ulster as well.”