Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Sunshines and Showers

Armagh’s preparations for their upcoming Ulster Senior Football Championship clash with Fermanagh is a bit like the current weather, sunshine and showers.

Kieran McGeeney has taken his Armagh panel of players to Portugal for a warm-weather training camp. The rays of sunshine emulating from the camp came before they left with the news that the injury concerns concerning Ethan Rafferty and Rory Grugan have eased considerably. The Grange and Ballymacnab players are both expected to be fit to face Fermanagh on May 19 at Brewster Park 7pm. Following a few weeks of action with their clubs team manager McGeeney will be anxious to get everyone on board to access the situation prior to the championship countdown. Armagh could find themselves in hot water over their trip to Portugal as it contravenes GAA rules. Given that April was to be solely a club month counties have broken protocol all over the place by playing challenge games and arranging training weekends. The showers could come in the shape of Croke Park enforcing the rules.

Armagh fall foul of Rule 6.22 (b) of the Official Guide states that “senior inter-county panels shall not be permitted to go on training weekends, or training of longer duration, after the final of their respective National League having been played, except during the 10 day period prior to a senior championship game, or during the 17 days prior to an All-Ireland senior final.”

The penalty for breaking the rule is forfeiture of the county’s first home game in next year’s Allianz League. In addition Armagh county board will lose out on revenue generated from staging that home game.