Recent History – Armagh v Antrim

It’s two years since these sides last met and that was an Ulster Championship encounter which Armagh won handsomely in the end.

Goals from Rory Grugan, Rian O’Neill, Conor Turbitt and Tiernan Kelly powered the Orchard to a 4-15 to 0-14 win.

In terms of the McKenna Cup, it’s been four years since the two teams crossed swords. Armagh once more proved too strong.

The two teams will meet later on this year, in the preliminary round of the Ulster Championship, also in the Athletic Grounds.

2021: Armagh 4-15 Antrim 0-14 (USFC quarter-final)

The scoreline suggests a one-sided encounter, but this was anything from a stroll in the park for the home side.

Three second half goals opened up some daylight between the teams after a tight and tense opening period.

Rory Grugan’s first ever goal in the Ulster Championship sent the Orchard County ahead 1-6 to 0-7 at the interval.

Rian O’Neill (penalty), Conor Turbitt and Tiernan Kelly added majors to ease Armagh into the last four.

Photo Credit: John Merry

2019: Antrim 1-10 Armagh 2-21 (McKenna Cup R2)

Armagh last reached the McKenna Cup final in 2019 and defeated Antrim by 14-points along the way.

The Orchard County eventually lost out to Tyrone, having also overcame St Mary’s, Monaghan and Donegal.

The visitors proved unstoppable against the Saffron’s, with Ryan McShane and Jamie Clarke nailing the majors.

Stefan Campbell was the top scorer on display and ended the game with a personal haul of 0-8.

Photo Credit: John Merry

2017: Armagh 1-12 Antrim 0-13 (National Football league R6)

In terms of recent history, this was the closest Antrim got to beating Armagh. And they will probably argue they should have.

Blaine Hughes made a huge save from a last-minute penalty, struck by CJ McGourty, to hand the home side maximum points.

Ciaran McKeever, now involved in the management team, bagged Armagh’s all-important three-pointer that evening.

Armagh’s push for promotion to Division Two was ruined the next day out, with Tipperary grabbing a late goal through Michael Quinlivan.

Photo Credit: John Merry

2015: Antrim 1-4 Armagh 2-11 (McKenna Cup R2)

Antrim suffered another big defeat to the Orchardmen in 2015, Kieran McGeeney’s first year in charge of the team.

Like 2019, this game was close enough at the half time break with Armagh ahead by four-points, 0-6 to 0-2.

Goals from Stefan Forker, top scorer with 1-4, and Oisin MacIomhair opened up an uncatchable gap in the second half.

McGeeney’s men reached the last four of the McKenna Cup but suffered a seven-point defeat to arch-rivals Tyrone.

Photo Credit: John Merry