Senior Hurling Championship Final Preview

There was a new round robin championship format in Armagh this year and despite some upsets in the group stages, it all ends with a Middletown and Keady final.

It’s the sixth time in eight seasons the pair will contest the decider.

Middletown, aiming for four in a row, have become the dominant force in Armagh hurling during that time.

Keady haven’t captured the Jimmy Carlisle Cup since 2018, the last time they beat their old rivals in the championship.

Eight points separated the sides in last years showpiece in what was a fiercely competitive spectacle.

Keady held a four-point lead at the short whistle, with Fionntan Donnelly’s penalty putting them 1-8 to 0-7 ahead.

Middletown powered to victory with second half scoring spree.

Marty Moan and Kieran McKernan netted as Middletown ran out comfortably winners in the end, 2-20 to 2-13.

Photo Credit: John Merry

Last four

Middletown saw off Craobh Rua to reach the decider, with two first half goals from Nathan Curry paving the way for victory.

Keady on the other hand needed a replay to finally shake off Cuchulainns in the semi-final.

Keady were much the better team the second day and secured their place in the final with a 11-point victory.

2022 College All-Star Tomas Galvin was responsible for the goal while the accurate Donnelly claimed a personal tally of 0-9.

If the Lamh Dhearg men are to cause an upset tomorrow, they’ll need Corvan, Galvin and Donnelly all hitting top form in front of the posts.

Photo Credit: John Merry

In defence, it’ll be up to James King to protect the centre along with Stephen Renaghan and Barry Shortt.

Midfield is going to be a real warzone. Youngsters Shea Harvey and Donnelly come up against the Middletown’s powerful pairing of Paddy McBride and Odhran Curry.

Sean Og McGuinness and Ryan Gaffney, along with the dangerous Nathan Curry, are the sharpshooters in the Middletown attack.

Kieran McKernan and Paul Gaffney are experienced, steady heads at the back.

Keady won’t lack confidence or skill, Middletown still hold all the aces and will be favourites to get the job done.