Armagh aiming to top the table

Armagh have a terrific chance to top their group and reach the All-Ireland quarter-finals for the third year in a row. They travel to Markievicz Park full of confidence after wins over Westmeath and Derry.

A victory this Sunday against old adversaries Galway will see them top their group and advance to the last eight. Galway are in the exact same position, so it’s a straight shootout between the two for top spot.

Last year’s clash between these two turned into a real classic, following on from their dramatic All-Ireland quarter-final encounter in 2022, although Armagh came out on top this time around.

Both sides were without key personnel, with Damian Comer and Rian O’Neill both sidelined and still it came down to the last kick. Shane Walsh missed a late free that would have levelled things up and it was Armagh who ended up topping the group.

The last two times the counties have clashed in championship football have been classic encounters. Galway edged the 2022 All-Ireland quarter-final by penalties while Armagh won last year’s round three tie by one-point.

A draw will do

Like Armagh, Galway have chalked up two victories in the group stages having also overcome Derry and Westmeath. Although Armagh currently top the group due to score difference so even a draw would do for Kieran McGeeney’s side.

They won’t be thinking like that of course and given the couple of key men that Galway are likely to be without, Sunday provides a real opportunity for Armagh to put out another statement win against the Connacht champions.

Armagh have a terrific chance to top their group and reach the All-Ireland quarter-finals for the third year in a row.
Photo Credit: John Merry

Talisman and 2022 All-Star attacker Damian Comer, who didn’t play against Armagh last year either, didn’t feature against Westmeath two weeks ago. Neither did team captain Sean Kelly or forward Rob Finnerty.

Andrew Murnin has been recalled to the starting line-up and will take up his spot at full forward. Maghery defender Ciaran Higgins has also earned a start, and they replace Stefan Campbell and Connaire Mackin.

As the Orchard County showed against Derry, they have enough quality in reserve to plug whatever gaps appear. Niall Grimley retains his spot in the starting line-up having put in a huge performance in Celtic Park.