Taking Nothing For Granted
Tuesday, 21 March 2017
ARMAGH'S emphatic win over table-toppers Louth, last Sunday has certainly given them every chance of promotion back to Division Two.
The fact that it was achieved short of three of their best players before the game and going a man down after only two minutes makes the victory all the more remarkable.
With two home games to come and carrying a very healthy score difference, Armagh's promotion fate is certainly within their own hands.
Momentum is growing and will be helped by another game within six days.
This Saturday evening (8pm) in the Athletic Grounds Armagh take on an Antrim side who edged out Laois thanks to a CJ McGourty goal.
Their win gives them every chance of survival and Armagh will certainly not take Antrim for granted as a result.
Antrim's campaign to date has been below par and consolidating their place in Division Three after winning promotion last season from Division Four is proving difficult.
On Sunday past, Antrim were at home to one of the two teams below them, Laois, and in a close contest edged home by 1-10 to 0-11. Relegation worries have eased slightly as a result as they are two points clear of the bottom two.
They will come to Armagh determined to take something out of the game under floodlights.
Armagh know not to take the Saffrons for granted as they push hard for points and significant scores to boost their score difference.
Joint managers, Frank Fitzsimons (third season) and Gearoid Adams (second season) have slowly but surely built up confidence in their squad and with injuries clearing up, their team each week is going from strength to strength.
Chris Kerr, in goals, has been steady and reliable all year but the defence has been ravaged in the games through injury with Kevin Niblock, Mark Sweeney and veteran Sean McVeigh missing crucial games.
Kevin Niblock, Paddy McBride, young U-21 forward Matthew Fitzpatrick (recent Sigerson Cup winner), Paddy McAteer, Ryan Murray and CJ McGourty (still a potent scorer) have been their best players and are those Armagh must pay attention to this Saturday evening.
If Mark Shields, Stefan Campbell and Andrew Murnin are fit for Sunday, the first 15 will take some consideration by management and even more so that James Morgan has at least taken to the field after recovering from injury.
Armagh at long last have a strong squad to pick from. I think Ben Crealey and James Morgan will make the starting line-up and it is unlikely, if fit, that Stefan Campbell and Andrew Murnin will not be over looked.
If the starting team in Louth is chosen, then Armagh's bench looks certainly as the strongest in the Division.
Two points on Saturday would set up a mouth watering final home game against new divisional leaders Tipperary who play Louth this weekend.
Fortunes are turning for Armagh but let's concentrate on Antrim first.
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