Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Armagh sweat as Down progress

By the time you are reading this article the Armagh sweat over whom they will play in the first round All-Ireland Qualifiers will be over as their opponents in the live 8-30 am Monday morning draw will have been revealed.

Meanwhile, the Orchard counties near neighbors Down will be looking forward to their June 10 Ulster Semi-final clash with Donegal following their 1-18 to 0-14 quarter-final home victory over Antrim. This first round qualifier draw involved all of those teams who have been beaten and failed to reach their Provincial semi-final but the format has changed in that there will be no groups sections this year with a straight draw involving all 16 teams taking place. The first team drawn in each tie will have home advantage – exception a Division 3 or 4 team from the current year’s Allianz league drawn against a Div 1 or 2 team will have home advantage. The fixtures will take place over the weekend of June 9th/10th. All matches will be required to finish on the day under the new Championship protocols. At Pairc Esler, Antrim opened up a 2 point lead but once Down rattled off 4 unanswered points from being level at 3-3 after 16 minutes last year’s beaten Ulster finalists never looked back. A Kevin McKernan goal the last score of the opening half sealed Antrim’s fate as they went in trailing 1-9 to 0-5. The teams shared 18 second half points evenly as Down progressed to the Ulster semis relatively untroubled 1-18 to 0-14.