Before a ball has been kicked this weekend, Shane O’Neill’s have been chalked down as favourites for Championship glory.
A below par performance saw them lose out to Culloville in the first-round last year. They also fell at the first hurdle in 2020 against eventual winners Clan na Gael.
The Camlough men reached the decider in 2019 and certainly felt hard done by when they didn’t get over the line.
Two late frees from Grange denied Shane’s the Atty Hearty Cup. Grange been dining at the top table ever since.
With three county men in the form of the Mackin brothers Connaire and Ciaran along with Greg McCabe, they are full of quality.
Without the county contingent throughout the league, they still had enough quality to capture the Division 2A title.
While senior football is already secured for next season, the Shane’s would love to go up as league and championship winners.
They kick off their campaign against Whitecross, who finished at the other end of the Division 2A table.
There were relegated after a poor campaign that saw them lose 10 of their 12 outings. They also drew two games during the campaign.
Shane O’Neill’s where huge winners in their first league clash, hitting five goals to win by 13-points.
Whitecross narrowed the gap when they sides met for the second time. But Shane O’Neill’s still came out on top by four points.
The return of Mark Shields will be a huge boost for Ruadhri Quinn’s men as they try to cause an upset.
Shields, who made his 100th appearance for Armagh this year, missed out on club championship action through injury last season.
Still, Whitecross defeated Ballyhegan, but Sarsfields ended their season at the quarter final stage of the competition.
Along with Shields, Whitecross will look to the experienced heads of Declan Lennon, Niall Boyle, Anthony McCann and Neil McSherry to mount a challenge.
Shane O’Neill’s have waited a year for another crack at the championship and are expected to get through this one.