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Armagh's rivalry with Donegal looks set to re-ignite

By John Campbell

Armagh will face Donegal in three different competitions over the course of the next few weeks.

On Saturday, the counties are due to clash in the Nicky Rackard Cup semi-final at the Athletic Grounds while at the same venue a week later they will meet in the Ulster minor football championship quarter-final.

And this will pave the way for the eagerly-awaited Ulster senior football championship quarter-final on June 14.

Armagh county board spokesman Sean O Maoilsté believes the programme of matches will further cement the rivalry between the counties.

"We will certainly be building up a strong link with Donegal over the coming weeks. Let's hope this proves successful from our perspective," said O Maoilsté.

While Armagh will be favourites to advance to the Nicky Rackard Cup final, the same cannot be said of the Orchard County's prospects in the Ulster minor football championship.

After losing their way in the second quarter of their Ulster preliminary round tie against Tyrone on Sunday, Donegal staged a stunning second-half to emerge on top and emphasise their role as favourites to lift the crown.

Indeed, they are being tipped not only to reign supreme in Ulster but to win the All-Ireland title and they certainly showed on Sunday that they have the talent.

Meanwhile, Armagh senior boss Kieran McGeeney has digested Donegal's win over Tyrone in and is already putting in place his strategy for the meeting with Rory Gallagher's side on June 14.

The level of championship fervour in Armagh was highlighted with a 'meet and greet' exercise at the Athletic Grounds over the weekend when McGeeney and his players mingled with fans.

Belfast Telegraph


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