There will be history made in the Athletic Grounds tomorrow afternoon no matter what the outcome, as Granemore take on Killeavy with a spot in the Armagh Senior Championship final on offer for the winner.
Granemore are vying for a first ever final appearance. Killeavy haven’t experienced the big day since 1988, 40 years after they last won the championship.
Underage success has helped Killeavy’s growth at senior level, although injuries have hindered expectations this season.
Ciaron O’Hanlon, Lee Rice, Miceal McNamee and Oisin King area all out for the season. Donal O’Neill is also likely to miss out with a hamstring injury.
Caolan McConville has been used as an impact sub in the championship so far, with two substitute appearances in the las two outings.
Despite missing so many of their main players, Killeavy have enjoyed a great year and still have an awful lot of quality to call upon.
County men Shea Magill and Conor O’Neill are key players, captain Cathair McKinney has been rock-solid at the back.
Up front, most of the scoring burden has fallen upon Paul Quinn and Niall Magennis, who have both contributed a goal a game in the championship, against Madden and Clan na Gael.
Granemore, haven’t made it this far in the championship as 2019. Old rivals Ballymacnab got the better of them that night, after extra time, but they have retained the majority of that team.
Defenders Ross Finn and Kieran Doyle are members of Kieran McGeeney’s county squad. Newbie Karl McQuaid, formally of Emyvale in Monaghan, has been a brilliant addition.
Paudie Hollywood drops back into the sweeper role and as Pearse Og and Mullaghbawn have found out, the Granemore defence is extremely tough to break down.
Brendan Boylan is a powerful midfielder while in attack, Jason O’Neill is still the main man. Marty Carr, Ryan Raffety and Louis Hughes make up the support cast.
Goals have got Killeavy this far, while Granemore haven’t conceded a three-pointer in the championship to date.
Something will have to give tomorrow and if Killeavy play with pace and move the ball at speed, they may just have enough to scrape over the line.