Armagh v Antrim – BOX-IT Athletic Grounds – 1pm
The Armagh minors begin their championship campaign with a home tie against Antrim on Saturday afternoon in the BOX-IT Athletic Grounds.
It’s the first of three group games that the Orchard County will play in the new round robin format.
After Antrim, Brendan Hughes’ youngsters will also come up against reigning champions Tyrone and Cavan.
All four teams are guaranteed a spot in the quarter-finals and guaranteed a maximum of four games.
Armagh already have four games under their belts following the Ulster Minor League which recently finished.
During that competition, Armagh picked up a first-round win over Antrim before suffering defeats to Derry, Monaghan and Down.
A series of players saw game time throughout the league and a number impressed ahead of the championship.
Goals were crucial when Armagh last faced Antrim, as they hit four in total, three coming in the second half.
Conall McGeough netted in the first half, but Armagh trailed at the break by eight-points, 1-11 to 1-3.
Things turned around dramatically after the interval as the Orchard County rallied off three goals.
McGeough, Paul Hendron and Eoin Kane all raised green flags as Armagh ran out eventual 4-12 to 2-13 winners.
In the games that followed, the goals dried up, but they have a forward line that can cause damage when on form.
McGeough was the top scorer throughout the league, hitting 2-3, with 2-2 coming in that opening round against Antrim.
Eoin Kane chipped in with 1-5 while team captain Daragh McNulty, who missed the first game through injury, has racked up 0-7.
Liam Carroll has a super campaign between the sticks and his shot stopping ability really caught the eye.
Ryan Nugent looks to be their best option at centre half back, with Michael Hughes at centerfield.
Aaron Haughey, nephew of John and Tony McEntee, is another strong contender for a middle eight position.
The league win over Antrim will give Armagh confidence that they can get their championship up and running with a win. But it certainly won’t be plain sailing.