Minors get championship campaign underway

The Ulster Minor Championship gets underway this weekend and Armagh take on Antrim at Crossmaglen on Saturday.

It’s the second time the sides have crossed swords in three weeks having met in the semi-final of the Shield.

Armagh were dominant that day, in the same venue, and ended up winning the game comfortably.

The home side held Antrim scoreless in the entire first half and ran out incredible 7-16 to 0-2 victors.

That sent them through to a Shield final against Tyrone which they won by six-points in the end, 1-11 to 0-8.

The Ulster Minor Championship gets underway this weekend and Armagh take on Antrim at Crossmaglen on Saturday.
Photo Credit: Finbar Burns

But there’s plenty of improvement to be made as Aidan O’Rourke’s side scored just one-point after half time.

There were some good performances from this talented bunch however, and they’ll hope to bring it to another level.

Conal Wilson and Diarmaid O’Rourke drove hard from the back while Jack Loughran and Daithi O’Callaghan are a solid midfield pairing.

Up front they have several scoring threats. The full forward line of Fionn Toale, Eoin Duffy and Shea Loughran hit a combined 1-8 against Tyrone.

Championship Time

They’ll not get carried away by that Shield win over the Saffrons two weeks ago, but they’ll take plenty of confidence from that.

Building a winning mindset into this group is key as coach Stefan Forker told us before the Shield Final.

The Ulster Minor Championship gets underway this weekend and Armagh take on Antrim at Crossmaglen on Saturday.
Photo Credit: Finbar Burns

Armagh’s Minor record hasn’t been great over the last decade and 2014 was the last time they reached the Ulster final.

In the last five seasons, Armagh have played 12 championships games at this grade. They’ve only won two of them.

The Orchard youngsters will hope to improve that record this year and face a difficult few games in the group stages.

After Antrim, they take on Cavan before meeting the reigning Ulster and All-Ireland champions Derry.

But all the focus will be on round one and getting off to a good start. If Armagh can bring the same display as they did in the first half last week, they should get off to a winning start.