Division 1A & 1B Previews – Gameday 1

The Armagh club season gets underway this weekend with lots of interesting action across Division 1A and 1B.

Division 1A

Clann Eireann get their Division 1A title defence underway with a home tie against newly promoted side Dromintee. The reigning champions captured the crown last season for the first time ever and will be keen to retain it.

Dromintee are aiming to find their feet but will have to do so without Aaron Boyle, who has transferred to a club in Louth.

Madden came so close to winning the league last season but lost out to Clann Eireann on the final day. They take on Granemore on Saturday evening, who just survived the drop in 2023 thanks to a last round draw with Ballymacnab.

Madden currently have four men on Kieran McGeeney’s county squad. The likes of Joe Sheridan and Paddy Carr should be available for club action.

The Armagh club season gets underway this weekend with lots of interesting action across Division 1A and 1B.
Photo Credit: John Merry

Jason O’Neill is likely to miss the early part of the league for Granemore, but Kieran Toner and Tony McClelland have returned to the fold. Marty Carr is off to Australia while ex-Armagh defender Ross Finn will remain in Canada for the foreseeable future.

Former Granemore boss Niall McAleenan has taken over at Killeavy and they take on Silverbridge in round one. The ‘Bridge, last year’s Division 1B league winners, are under new management as well. Clubman Rory Donnelly has taken over from Colm Nally.

Crossmaglen host Armagh Harps in round one and the Rangers will start the season without Aaron Kernan. The club and county legend called time on his illustrious career after last year’s Ulster Championship loss to Trillick.

Mark McCoy, who has spent the last few seasons with Collegeland, is back for the Harps this year. They have lost both Niall Brady and Caolan McQuaid however, who have joined up with Collegeland.

The Armagh club season gets underway this weekend with lots of interesting action across Division 1A and 1B.
Photo Credit: John Merry

Division 1B

Ballymacnab and Culloville kickstart the 2024 season when they lock horns in on Thursday evening. The Nab remain without Jack Grugan, who is in Australia, while Chris Loughran and Jemmy Gray have retired.

Chris Kerr has moved back to St Gall’s, Ruairi Gribben has transferred to Lisnaskea while Simon King will miss the league through injury. Culloville will be buoyed by their Intermediate u21 winning side of last year and have plenty of talent coming through.

Ryan Garvey missed a large chunk of the championship last year through injury but could return for the start of the league.

All-Ireland Intermediate champions Cullyhanna get their season underway against Maghery. It’s a repeat of the 2016 Senior Championship final, which Maghery won by three-points in the end.

The Armagh club season gets underway this weekend with lots of interesting action across Division 1A and 1B.
Photo Credit: Sinead Snaps

Maghery will be without Stephen Cusack, who has taking charge of Granemore, following his retirement. Stefan Forker will continue to play, however. Stephen Reel may decide to give some of the older members of the panel an extended break after last year’s run.

St Peter’s and Sarsfields lock horns on Sunday and both will be aiming to keep their place in the division. Aaron Findon picked up an arm injury in the championship last year but may return this weekend.

2023 beaten Senior Championship finalists Clan na Gael get their campaign underway against Mullaghbawn. The Clans have a huge involvement with the Armagh u20s and seniors, so will be down a number of men.

Lennox Camara has returned to the fold however and he’ll be a major boost for Ronan McMahon’s men while defender Sean Farren has retired.

Mullaghbawn attacker Gerard McCann has moved to Australia so they will have to plan without him. Eoghan McDonnell suffered an injury midway through the league last year and is still on the comeback trail.

The Armagh club season gets underway this weekend with lots of interesting action across Division 1A and 1B.
In association with PB’s Bar Moy