Armagh begin 2023 with a bang

Armagh 2-20 Antrim 2-8

Armagh began their 2023 season with a bang on Wednesday evening when they blew Antrim away at the Athletic Grounds.

Kieran McGeeney played 30 panel members, most earning 35 minutes of action, and dominated from start to finish.

Conor Turbitt picked up the Man of the Match award, top scoring with 1-2 despite being replaced at half time.

Newbies Eoin Woods and Shane McPartland both landed scores, as did Tiernan Kelly, in his first game since the opening round of last year’s championship.

Armagh began 2023 with a 12-point win over Antrim
Photo Credit: John Merry

A quickfire 1-2 had Armagh five ahead after six minutes and the game was more or less done and dusted.

Antrim relied on the accuracy of their dead ball specialists for scores as their first half tally of 0-4 all came from frees and marks.

The home side were comfortably ahead by the short whistle, with a Niall McConville mark putting them 1-10 to 0-4 in front.

McGeeney rang the changes at the break, with 12 substitutes in total, but it made little impact on the competitiveness of the game.

Armagh began 2023 with a 12-point win over Antrim
Photo Credit: John Merry


Tomas McCormack, Lee Rice and Cian McConville, who really impressed with 0-3 before going off with a slight knock, all made their debuts.

Conor Grimley, Kieran Doyle and Oisin Conaty were all added to the fray before the end of the third quarter.

Joe Sheridan, who made his debut in the McKenna Cup last year against Tyrone, slotted home a goal to make it 2-13 to 0-5.

Antrim replied with a three-pointer of their own with Odhran Eastwood palming home their first score from play.

Armagh began 2023 with a 12-point win over Antrim
Photo Credit: John Merry

Madden duo Sheridan and Niall Smith both fisted points before Eastwood found the net again. That made ten the difference with minutes remaining.

Niall McConville and Stefan Campbell, Armagh’s 14th scorer of the night, added the final two points of the evening.

It’s Cavan next for the Orchard County, and with another display like that, a semi-final spot should be a certainty.

Armagh: Ethan Rafferty, Paddy Burns, Aidan Forker, Ross Finn, Conor O’Neill 0-1, Barry McCambridge 0-1, Jarly Og Burns, Niall Grimley, Stephen Sheridan, Eoin Woods 0-1, Aidan Nugent 0-3 (3f), Tiernan Kelly 0-1, Conor Turbitt 1-2 (1m), Niall McConville 0-2 (1m), Shane McPartland 0-1. Subs: Stefan Campbell 0-1 for C. Turbitt, Justin Kieran 0-1 for T. Kelly, Niall Smith 0-1 for C. O’Neill, Callum Cumiskey for J. Burns, Tomas McCormack for N. Grimley, Shea Magill for E. Rafferty, Lee Rice for P. Burns, Peter McGrane for A. Forker, Ciaran Higgins for S. Sheridan, Joe Sheridan 1-1 for E. Woods, Jemar Hall 0-1 for A. Nugent, Cian McConville 0-3 for R. Finn, Conor Grimley for N. McConville, Kieran Doyle for B. McCambridge, Oisin Conaty for S. McPartland, Niall McConville for C. McConville.

Antrim: Michael Byrne, Patrick McBride, Cathal Hynds, Pádraig Mervyn, Dermot McAleese 0-1, Joseph Finnegan, Ronan Boyle, Jack Dowling, Oisin Lenehan, Marc Jordan, Colum Duffin 0-1 (1m), Conor Stewart, Ryan Murray 0-1 (1m), Kevin Small, Dominic McEnhill 0-5 (4f, 1m). Subs: Eoghan McCabe for R. Boyle, Patrick Finnegan for M. Jordan, Seamus McGarry for J. Dowling, Pat Shivers for J. Finnegan, James McAuley for P. Mervyn, Odhran Eastwood 2-0 for K. Small, Barry McCormick for R. Murray, Patrick McCormick for D. McAleese, Calum Higgins for C. Duffin, Sean O’Neill for C. Stewart.