The Armagh hurlers get their National League campaign up and running with a trip to Darver this weekend, to face Louth.
Louth have proven a difficult stumbling block of late for Armagh, although the Orchardmen have held the upper hand.
All of the three recent meetings between the two sides have taken place in the familiar comforts of the Athletic Grounds.
In both their recent league clashes (2020 and 2022) Middletown sharpshooter Dean Gaffney has been the hero.
His late frees have handed Armagh a one-point win on both occasions, but Gaffney is no longer part of the panel.
The 2022 Club All-Star has gone travelling for the year, so Armagh will hope someone has can fill his shoes.
Karl McKeegan’s side have already had one outing in 2023, as they faced Antrim in the quarter-final of the McGurk Cup.
It was an experimental Armagh side minus several regulars, but still they put up a good showing against the 2022 Joe McDonagh Cup champions.
A stronger starting line-up will be expected this weekend as Armagh hope to get their league off to a good start.
Louth, led by former Armagh dual star Paul McCormack, have also only had one outing so far this year.
They were heavily defeated in the opening round of the McGurk Cup. A QUB side, including Armagh hurlers, Oisin O’Hare and Jordan Murtagh, defeated Louth 5-24 to 2-9.
Armagh reached the Division 3A league final last season but lost out to rivals Tyrone by two-points in the decider.
Louth on the other hand, finished the campaign joint bottom of the table. A round four win over Warwickshire kept them out of relegation trouble.
It’s going to be a difficult league, given the quality of teams in the division this year, with Mayo coming down from 2B this year.
A good start will be essential for Armagh, who at the least will want to make the league final once again and hope to push on for promotion.