Memories of some titanic battles during the first decade of this century come to mind following Armagh’s defeat of Wicklow in the round two qualifier replay in Aughrim. For the first time in many years an Ulster senior football final will take place without either Armagh or Tyrone playing but for supporters of both counties there will be a feeling that the real Ulster final will take place on Saturday next in Omagh when these old rivals meet in a do or die battle.
Armagh showed by travelling to Wicklow and winning that there is still plenty of fight left in them and will fancy their chances of beating Tyrone. Historically these games have been very difficult to call but with home advantage Tyrone will be fancied to win this one. However any team with players of the calibre of Jamie Clarke and Steven Mc Donnell in their forward line will need to be watched closely. Mickey Harte will be able to focus his mind completely on the task ahead now that he knows his team’s opponents and with the extra week of preparation and recovery time he will be approaching this match in a cautious but confident frame of mind.
There is a body of opinion that reckons both these teams are in some form of decline but that will count for nothing next Saturday night when the ball is thrown in. We will be treated to a real old fashioned do or die championship match between close neighbours with a huge prize for the winners. It should attract a huge crowd and be well worth seeing!