O’Neill on the bench for Down date

Rian O’Neill will start on the bench for this Sunday’s Ulster Championship semi-final with arch-rivals Down.

O’Neill made a substitute appearance against Cavan in Armagh’s five-point win, pulling off a stunning second half save.

The Crossmaglen man, who top scored for the Orchard during the league, hasn’t started since Armagh’s two-point loss to Galway in round six of the league.

O’Neill made his championship debut against the Mourne men back in 2019. He kicked 0-8 as Armagh won after extra time.

Kieran McGeeney has gone with the ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it’ approach, naming the same team that beat Cavan.

Wing half forwards Stefan Campbell and Jason Duffy have swapped wings, but other than that, it’s as you were.

Ethan Rafferty is back in nets with Conor O’Neill, Aaron McKay and Aidan Forker making up the full back line.

McKay made his debut against Down in 2017 and broke forward from half back to knock over a first half score.

Two years later, Jarly Og Burns made his championship debut against the same opposition, partnering Charlie Vernon at midfield.

Photo Credit: John Merry

Burns, who was a late replacement Barry McCambridge against Cavan, joins Greg McCabe and Ciaran Mackin in the half back line.

Ben Crealey and Shane McPartlan have formed a solid midfield partnership. They’ll be in the middle once again on Sunday.

Jemar Hall picks up the number 11 jersey just as he did last weekend, with Campbell and Duffy either side.

Andrew Murnin, who netted against Down in the championship back in 2017 and 2019, is full forward.

Man of the Match against Antrim and Cavan, Conor Turbitt, along with Rory Grugan, occupy the two corners.

Armagh have a strong bench to call upon once again. O’Neill, Aidan Nugent, Stephen Sheridan, Callum Cumiskey and Ciaran Higgins all came on the last day.

James Morgan has returned to the panel while Barry McCambridge will also be an option off the bench.