Armagh through but Down go out
Following the weekend McKenna Cup results which saw wins for Cavan, Tyrone, Donegal and Queen’s the way is now clear for Wednesday night’s semi-finals.
Four in a row seeking Tyrone who topped their group with 3 wins will take on Armagh who picked up the best losers spot through scoring averages with Fermanagh despite losing out narrowly 2-5 to 0-12 to Donegal qualifying to play Cavan who were 1-13 to 0-13 winners against Monaghan.
Armagh will have home advantage on Wednesday night at 8pm in the Athletic Grounds where a repeat of the first round crowd congestion will have to be avoided. Cavan will be at home to Fermanagh.
In one of the tightest ever McKenna cup qualifying series Section C winners Tyrone were the only team of the 9 competing to collect 3 wins. In the same section Armagh amasses two wins which was good enough to get them a semi-final spot despite Down and Donegal also collecting 4 points. Section A was won by Cavan with 4 points with Section B going to Fermanagh who had 4 points leaving Down and Donegal to lose out on the double – topping their group and best runner-up- to the scoring system used in this competition.
Armagh v Tyrone has a proven attraction and so there will be another very big attendance on Wednesday wondering if there is to be another “mass brawl” between these two best of enemies. For me there is no need to dilute the intensity other than get a more common sense approach from a less card happy man in the middle and everybody will enjoy the spectacle.
Armagh will know from the previous meeting that they can overturn that 1-12 to 1-10 defeat and book a Saturday night berth in the final of a competition that they last won in 1990.