The whole county may be in a ticket frenzy ahead of Sunday’s Ulster final, but for Armagh hurling enthusiasts, they’re looking forward to the minors All-Ireland Celtic Challenge semi –final against Roscommon.
Armagh face a long three-hour bus ride to Ballyforan, South Roscommon, where they face the Rossies at 12pm.
The early start and bus journey won’t stop the young Armagh men from reaching their second final in three years.
Armagh will welcome back goalkeeper Ruairí Mallon. He missed their win over Sligo, after picking up an injury while making a save against Antrim.
The Orchard boys will be once again led by Na Fianna’s Caionn Hughes. In defence Keady’s Liam Rafferty, the ever-improving Fionn Elshaw from Craobh Rua and Cuchulainns Dara Harney will assist Hughes.
Sean Burke (Derrynoose) and Killeavy’s Darren McMullan will form Armagh powerful midfield pairing. Tom Scallon, their reliable free taker, could be used as a third midfielder.
A key component of the Armagh minor success story this year has been involvement of all the hurling clubs.
St. Malachy’s Eoin Bell is improving with every game. The full forward line will be made up of Calum Rafferty, Sean Tracey’s Conor Carabine and Keady’s Sennan Gorman.
After a great win over Sligo in the BOX-IT Athletic Grounds, Armagh were awarded a walkover as Carlow failed to field in their semi-final.
Oisín Toman had a good game against Sligo and is in contention to start again at half-back. Unfortunately dual player Paddy Lynch misses out as he is with the County Minor footballers.
Manager Michéal Murphy, along with Damian Kirk and David O’Brien on the line, will make sure the Armagh lads get the County off to a very successful weekend.
So, for those who like a road trip of a different kind, and want to see Armagh in an All-Ireland semi-final, travel to St. Aidan’s GAA club, situated on the Galway/Roscommon border, along the banks of the Shiven River near the village of Ballyforan.