Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Kildare Next up for Armagh

Armagh will host Kildare next Saturday night at the Athletic Grounds in round three of the Allianz NFL Div 2 with the game being relayed live by Eir Sport.

The Lillywhites joint favourites with Armagh for promotion at the start of the league have also suffered a shock unexpected defeat, going down 0-11 to 0-10 away to Clare in Ennis. With Fermanagh bouncing back following an opening round defeat away to Kildare by beating Roscommon 0-13 to 0-12 it is the Rossies who find themselves at the foot of the table with only a point from their draw with Laois last week. The O Moore men following their win over Armagh top the table on 3 points with 6 teams now on 2 points each as Cavan recovered from their humiliating loss to Armagh to earn a come from behind win over Westmeath who had beaten Clare on the opening day.

Given the current state of the Division Two league table Round Three of the league next weekend will be very vital as the results will give teams an indication as to whether they are promotion or relegation contenders. Following two rounds of league action no one could have envisaged that the table would look as it stands. Division Two was expected to be very competitive as it has already proved especially now that it shows that all teams are more than capable of beating each other dismissing the pre league notions of which sides were promotion and relegation candidates. Whilst Armagh entertain Kildare table toppers Laois have home comfort against Cavan as Fermanagh head to Mullingar to take on Westmeath with the Banner heading to Hyde Park to face current bottom of the table Roscommon.

 Restored pride and getting back on the promotion trail will be the focus at the Athletic Grounds which should help to serve up a thriller. Armagh, like Kildare, will be trying to unravel what went wrong in their respective defeats. For Armagh it’s easy as they inexplicably simply failed to turn up on the night at Portlaois, a repeat showing next Saturday night will be disastrous to say the least. Three home wins from their 3 home league fixtures is a must for Armagh to avoid being drawn into a relegation dogfight whose end results could lead to even further championship woe.

Did the two late switches to the Armagh set up upset the balance? Will Jarly Og and Jamie Clarke get their first league starts and will Forker and Grugan be fit to regain their places. Tactically Armagh will have to improve as Laois had them stifled throughout the field with their tactical approach to the game. Twelve months ago, Armagh let Kildare off the hook with a draw, a result that will not suffice this time around. It will certainly need all hands to the pump against Kildare, where nothing short of a top-class championship performance in February will be required to seal the vital 2 league points on offer.