4 thing to take from the McKenna Cup

Armagh’s 2023 McKenna Cup journey ended last Wednesday evening in Breffni Park, following a five-point defeat to Cavan.

Kieran McGeeney’s men still could have reached the last four, but Derry’s late draw with Tyrone ruled that out.

Armagh’s campaign lasted two games, with a huge win over Antrim in the first round before the Cavan loss.

Before all the attention turns towards their upcoming Division One campaign, we’ve reflected on the McKenna Cup.

Squad depth

Kieran McGeeney got a look at 34 different players across Armagh’s two games in the McKenna Cup.

That was without the likes of Ciaran Mackin, James Morgan, Niall Rowland, Ben Crealey, Jason Duffy and Andrew Murnin. All are in with major shouts for starting positions.

A few of the younger faces really impressed as well. Barry McCambridge looks like he can contest for the number six shirt.

Barry McCambridge impressed in the McKenna Cup
Photo Credit: Richiespics

Attacking power

There were a number of players in attacking positions that enjoyed good moments in the McKenna Cup. 17 players scored across the two games

Joe Sheridan (vs Antrim) and Oisin Conaty (vs Cavan) both rattled home impressive goals that really caught the eye.

Eoin Woods, Shane McPartland, Justin Kieran and Cian McConville are others that will really be pushing for game time in the league.

A few older heads in the form of Niall McConville and Callum Cumiskey will also hope to push into the front six.

Niall McConville impressed in the McKenna Cup
Photo Credit: Richiespics

Championship clashes

Although it was just the McKenna Cup, Armagh played the two teams they’ll have to beat to make an Ulster semi-final.

They take on Antrim in the preliminary round and if the McKenna Cup is anything to go by, the Orchard County should ease through.

That sets up an away day trip to Breffni Park against Cavan, which you’d imagine will be a much tougher prospect.

Despite a shaky start, Armagh were the better team in the first half against Cavan. They lost momentum with a host of half-time changes, but they’ll still have confidence ahead of the championship.

Ross Finn impressed in the McKenna Cup
Photo Credit: John Merry

League prep

It’s all about the league now and Armagh will be out to secure their status in the top tier.

Kieran McGeeney knows what he has now, and fans will be excited about the prospect of another Division One campaign.

It all started in Castleblayney against Monaghan, and that will be a big test, but one Armagh will be looking forward to.

Photo Credit: John Merry