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Parker is looking up as Armagh strive to build momentum

 

Chris Parker

The Division 1B table of the All-Ireland League could really do with spreading itself out a bit more when it comes to the midway point and below.

City of Armagh know all about the situation having bounced up and down the rankings in what has been a topsy-turvy season.

The plan is to hopefully change that pattern as the league resumes after the break for this three-game segment before, well, downing tools again.

And while the Palace Grounds squad are only too aware of how things could go in terms of heading south in the table, they are keen to keep moving in the opposite direction with a top four spot also within reach.

Willie Faloon's side want to make it three victories on the bounce this weekend, following on from their Ulster derby successes against Banbridge and Malone, though the challenge is rather steep as they host leaders Highfield.

"You don't know where you are going to be (in the table) from one week to the next," admitted Armagh assistant coach Chris Parker.

"You could be up challenging for fourth or you could suddenly be looking over your shoulder at who is in ninth and how many points they have, so every point is vital."

"So we want to make sure we pick up our points at home, and anything away from home is a bonus."

"But it doesn't come any tougher than the leaders," said Parker. "We have to back up the Malone performance from our last game, keep building the momentum and see where it takes us."

Elsewhere in 1B, third-placed Banbridge, who have won four of their last five games, are at Old Belvedere, while Malone are on the road at basement side Navan.

Up in 1A it's top versus bottom, with Ballynahinch in the latter category as they host leaders Cork Constitution, who have rather ominously won all 11 games.

'Hinch are locked in a full-on struggle with Dublin University and UCC to get off the bottom - all are on 18 points - so the Co Down club need something from this encounter.

The expected bad weather could be a leveller at Ballymacarn Park. 'Hinch have Zack McCall, Jack Regan, Clive Ross, Marcus Rea and Conor Rankin all on club duty, while Ross Adair is fit again and Conal Boomer could return too.

Scrum-half Rhys O'Donnell misses out with an injury picked up at Young Munster.

Division 1A: Ballynahinch v Cork Constitution

Division 1B: City of Armagh v Highfield, Navan v Malone, Old Belvedere v Banbridge

Belfast Telegraph