High flying Orchard face Farney army

Hopes are high in the Orchard County at the minute as the last few weeks have allowed Armagh fans to dream again.

Defeating the last two All-Ireland champions has brought the county to a high it hasn’t experienced in a long, long time.

Not only did Armagh take down the Dubs and Tyrone, but they did so in dominant fashion and played some sublime football. The challenge this weekend is to keep that momentum going.

Armagh will need no motivation heading into the Athletic Grounds as the wounds of 2021 are still extremely fresh in the memory.

Kieran McGeeney and his men learnt so much from their encounter with Monaghan last year, but the hurt still stings.

Four first half goals from the Farney men dismantled Armagh’s charge to reach their first Ulster final since 2008.

Thanks to Quaypoint Security for sponsoring our coverage of the game! Check out their Facebook page by clicking on the image!

Meaner defence

The Orchard fought back bravely and almost claimed a historic victory, but Monaghan got through in the end.

Ever since that day on a sun soaked Pairc Esler, Armagh have developed a harder edge, defensively.

We saw glimpses of it in the McKenna Cup, when they conceded just one goal across three games.

Hopes are high in Armagh after the first two rounds of the league
Photo Credit: John Merry

But it was the wide-open spaces of Croke Park that shone the brightest light on the new and improved structure.

Armagh hunted in packs and tracked down anyone who dared trespass into their defensive third of the field.

They repeated the feat against the Red Hands to claim another two points and earn their spot at the top of the table.

Lingering around mid-table is Seamus McEnaney’s men, who are an extremely experienced Division One side at this stage.

They know how to grind out results and will have absolutely no fear of the challenge they face this weekend.

But Armagh won’t fear Monaghan either. They would have earmarked this one as a must win from the very start.

A win on Saturday would all but secure Armagh’s top tier status for another season. But Monaghan badly need the points as well. That should lead to an intriguing and exciting encounter.

Hopes are high in Armagh after the first two rounds of the league
Photo Credit: John Merry