An away trip, no matter how short, was also going to be a difficult start for Kieran McGeeney’s men, but one they ultimately passed.
Sunday’s encounter will certainly be a step up in class, in front of a packed house in the Box-It Athletic Grounds.
There’s a feel-good factor surrounding the Armagh team and the minute. And the Mayo fans are equally as supportive of their county team.
That should mean an electrifying atmosphere, but Armagh will hope the comforts of home advantage will count for something.
Mayo didn’t quite get the start they wanted during the first round of games. Although they’d have been content with a draw against old rivals Galway.
James Carr’s sensational goal gave them a good head start, but it took a late Ryan O’Donoghue free to rescue a share of the spoils.
Kevin McStay’s men, minus Lee Keegan and Oisin Mullen, are an experienced Division One team at this stage. And competed in the final last year.
While Mayo lost two of their best defenders, O’Donoghue and Cillian O’Connor have returned to the attack. Tommy Conroy is making his way back as well.
O’Donoghue was the main man up front for Mayo last season, when these teams shared the field in McHale Park for round four of the league and finished with 0-7.
Armagh had got off to a perfect start in 2022, defeating Dublin and Tyrone before earning a point against Monaghan.
But Mayo ended their unbeaten streak, with the substitute power of Kevin McLaughlin, Paddy Durcan, Padraig O’Hara and Aidan O’Shea seeing them over the line.
The strength of both benches will be key on Sunday. Armagh’s squad depth has gained a lot of praise recently.
Despite missing the likes of James Morgan, Greg McCabe, Conor Turbitt, Conor Mackin and Ben Crealey in round one, Armagh were still able to produce the goods.
Jason Duffy, Niall Grimley and Ross McQuillan all made telling impacts when introduced against Monaghan. Stefan Campbell really stepped when needed, with two super points towards the end of the game.
Armagh’s firepower is unquestionable and as they have shown a number of times, they can score from anywhere.
Kieran McGeeney may have been disappointed when some of their shot selection the last day out, but they did enough to earn the victory.
It will be a tough test for the home side, but one they’ll relish. They’ve proven their good enough to compete with the top teams in Division One and today is another chance to do just that.