Opportunity comes calling for Orchard County

Great moments are born with great opportunity and opportunities like this don’t come around too often. That will be the overriding feeling in Armagh, Galway, Clare and Derry this weekend.

For one of those counties, it’s going to be a summer to remember. One of them will compete on the biggest stage of all, on All-Ireland final day.

But it’s one step at a time and Armagh won’t be getting carried away just yet. There’s a massive obstacle ahead of them on Sunday.

Yes, the fans will begin to dream of the glory days returning with packed houses in Clones and Croker the norm.

But for the team it will be business as usual. Armagh have never beaten Galway in the championship, so history is against them.

There’s something different in Kieran McGeeney side though. In years gone by, the team would have folded when Donegal went 0-9 to 1-2 ahead.

This time around however Armagh kept fighting, kept believing and as Kieran Donaghy put it, they were “brave”.

And once they sensed blood they went for the kill and there was no letting up, no backing down. The foot was on the Donegal throat and Armagh kept pressing.

Armagh have the opportunity to reach the All-Ireland semi finals
Photo Credit: John Merry


The opportunity was there to hammer Donegal and they took it. Revenge was sweet in Clones that day.

But a new, unfamiliar challenge faces the Orchard on Sunday and Galway will be just as excited by the prospect of a place in the last four.

Padraig Joyce has developed a team that like Armagh, can mix up their styles but preferably like to kick the ball.

With forwards in the mould of Damien Comer and Shane Walsh, it only makes sense for the Tribesmen to get the ball to them as fast as possible.

Armagh have the opportunity to reach the All-Ireland semi finals
Photo Credit: John Merry

Midfield will be a minefield and Armagh will have to have a plan for Paul Conroy, who has been in sensational form.

Croke Park suits this Armagh side, and they have good memories of their last trip to Jones’ Road. They defeated Dublin there in the opening round of the league.

It’s a huge opportunity for Armagh and if they play to their potential, they should book their spot in the last four.