Orchard hurlers bidding to bounce back against Donegal

Nickey Rackard Cup round two

Donegal v Armagh

Sunday, Letterkenny, 2pm

By Shaun Casey

Armagh will be out to bounce back from their humiliating defeat at the hands of Roscommon in round one, when they face Donegal on Sunday.

Terence McNaughton’s side had home advantage last weekend, but it counted for little as the Rossies ran riot.

The visiting side were already 17 points ahead by the time the half-time whistle sounded, with four goals coming inside the first half.

Eoin McGuinness and Shea Harvey grabbed majors for Armagh after the turnaround, but it was never going to be enough to bring them back into contention.

Donegal on the other hand, enjoyed a five-point opening day win over Fermanagh, perhaps slightly closer than some would have predicted.

Davin Flynn top scored for Mickey McCann’s men with 0-10 (9f) and the accurate attacker will be one to watch for the Orchard defence.

Another will be Declan Coulter, who is a much more familiar face. Coulter always provides an interesting subplot with these two sides meet.

The former Cuchulainn’s man won the Nickey Rackard Cup in the orange and white in 2012, rattling off 2-2 in the final against Louth.

He now lines out for Donegal where he added two more Nickey Rackard Cup medals to his personal collection in 2018 and 2020.

Both Donegal and Armagh reached the last four of the competition last season, but neither made it through to the decider.

Donegal will head into this one carrying the favourites’ tag, having played in a division higher than their opponents this year and reaching the Division 2B semi-final.

Armagh made it as far as the Division 3A showdown, but Tyrone toppled their rivals with two points to spare in the end.

The Orchardmen will hope to stop the rout and get back to winning ways on Sunday, but they will have it all to do in Letterkenny.

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