Armagh face familiar opponents this weekend as they host Roscommon to begin their Nickey Rackard Cup campaign.
By this stage, there can be no surprises between the two sides. Both teams are quite familiar with each other and know all they need to about their opponents.
On Sunday, the sides will commence battle for the third time in five weeks. Roscommon shaded the first meeting while Armagh triumphed in the second.
Strangely, both teams were defeated on their home turf. A late goal for the Rossie’s saw them defeat their hosts in round four of the league.
The most recent clash was a league semi-final. Played in Dr Hyde Park, it was another late goal that turned the game.
The Orchard who raised the green flag on that occasion. Shea Harvey’s three-pointer sent Armagh through to the Division 3A final.
Things didn’t go to plan however for Terence McNaughton’s men and a poor start proved to be their downfall.
Tyrone nailed two first half goals and although Armagh did close the gap after the break, it wasn’t enough to salvage something from the game.
Nickey Rackard Cup
How they react to that disappointment will have a big say on how they perform on Sunday. On one hand, it’s a positive that they can aim to get back on track so quickly.
On the other, it may be difficult to raise their game following the heartache of a league final defeat and their hopes of promotion dashed.
There are enough strong leaders on the field and in the changing room to ensure that the heads are right heading into Sunday’s clash.
It’s a game that’s impossible to predict and both sides will be targeting a victory to ensure they begin their Nickey Rackard campaign in the best possible way.
Armagh haven’t won the competition since 2012 but have been one of the main contenders in the last few years.
Roscommon offer a huge obstacle but if Armagh can raise their spirits again they can come through this one.