Going west must deliver something

March 26, 2014

Armagh are away to Galway on Sunday and are in the situation with two rounds of fixtures (home to Donegal last match) where promotion and relegation are a possibility. Having disposed of Armagh in the championship last year at the same venue Galway have failed to progress much further than their visitors. Indeed the Galway League position is far more precarious than that of the Orchard County. Galway trail Armagh by 2 points in the table but must head to Castleblayney in their last match to take on promotion chasing Ulster champions Monaghan. More worrying for Galway is that they are a massive 19 points behind Armagh in the scoring differences. With Louth on 2 points (away to Donegal at home to Down and Laois (away to Monaghan and home to Down) on 4 points in all probability even two defeats in their last two games may not see them relegated due to the scoring differences. Still a win or a draw on Sunday for Armagh will clinch their divisional status.

Given that retention of their Divisional status was questionable from the outset the possibility of gaining promotion still in prospect has to be bonus territory for Armagh. Management have been given a very depleted squad to work with yet their charges have produced Jekyll and Hyde performances mixing the good with the bad the sublime with the ridiculous. Good news heading for Galway is that Aaron Kernan is expected to make his return to the county colours after a lengthy absence. Will Kevin Dyas be available after injury as the re-shuffling done in his absence against Monaghan severely disrupted the rhythm built up against Laois. Management has also to sweat over an unnecessary U-21 replay on Wednesday night as Armagh take on Antrim in Pairc Esler 8pm after missing out in normal and extra-time in the drawn encounter to dismiss the Antrim challenge. The sluggish start and scoring droughts experienced against Monaghan will have to be banished. Galway results to date should leave Armagh with little to fear but unlike their League meeting last year all the need is on the Tribesmen to get a result. The journey home will be all the sweeter as Armagh will have attained their first goal of the season Second Division survival and if results go right the visit of Donegal might take on a different significance for all the right reasons-promotion.