Ulster final: Derry v Armagh – The key areas of Sunday’s showdown

Compiled by Michael McMullan


DERRY – Shane McGuigan

McGUIGAN has bagged over a third of Derry’s scores this season and is getting even more comfortable turning onto his right side to leave defenders guessing. One of the best forwards in the game, he has the cut of a player with an inner goal to be even better.

With Armagh goalkeeper Ethan Rafferty the source of so many attacks, Gallagher could keep McGuigan pushed up all the time with Barry McCambridge for company to keep Rafferty honest and pegged back.

ARMAGH – Conor Turbitt

WATCHING Turbitt against Cavan was even better a second time. Those dancing feet bought him the vital space to take on a defender.

You’d image Mickey Donnelly’s years of coaching him in St Ronan’s would’ve helped Pierce Laverty keep him scoreless in the semi-final.

With Rian O’Neill and Andrew Murnin rotating more, Turbitt stays up top more than the rest and you’d expect Chrissy McKaigue to pick him up.


David Gough (Meath)

GOUGH took charge of Galway’s Connacht semi-final earlier this season and will be a familiar face with both teams this weekend.

He sent off Armagh’s Greg McCabe and four Tyrone players during a controversial league game last season.

Shane McGuigan was dismissed by Seán Lonergan on a second yellow on Gough’s advice as linesman in Derry’s draw with Roscommon in last year’s league and handed a subsequent ban after being reported for comments made to Gough.


Ciaran Mackin v Brendan Rogers

ARMAGH’S problem is how they need to split Mackin in two with Rogers and Ethan Doherty suited to how well his engine works. Rogers was the star man in last year’s Ulster final and Armagh will need to meet his dynamism head on in the central area. Whoever has a better revving engine in the final quarter will have a big say in the shape of the game.

Barry McCambridge v Shane McGuigan

SHANE McGuigan was excellent last season and has got even better. While not listed, it’s impossible to see how Armagh don’t plump for Barry McCambridge – if fully fit – to start on Sunday after picking up Darragh Canavan, David Clifford and Shane Walsh during the league. He missed the wins over Cavan and Down, but his duel with McGuigan will have a big bearing on the colour or of ribbons on the Angle Celt Cup this winter.

Aidan Forker v Ethan Doherty

THERE are not many teams in the country that have a tailor-made man to pick up Ethan Doherty. If it’s not Ciaran Mackin, they’ll have to ask Forker to step out and get on the ball as often as possible to have Ethan Doherty running backways more than into the attack. Forker got forward for an early point against Down and looks to kick the ball down the flanks, so he’ll be an important cog for Armagh to get at Derry on the counter.

Likely line-ups

WITH Barry McCambridge a strong candidate to pick up Shane McGuigan, you’d expect at least one more change from the semi-final with Ben Crealey – who was replaced due to injury – likely to drop out as Ciaran Mackin is suited to Brendan Rogers.

Jemar Hall – presumably injured – hasn’t been listed after playing a part in all but one of Armagh’s 12 games this season to date. His place goes to Stefan Campbell.

For Derry, it’s an unchanged lineup as Rory Gallagher has again held Ciaran McFaul in reserve and he’d be a key player when the game rests in the melting pot and scores at a premium.


1 Ethan Rafferty

3 Aaron McKay

18 Barry McCambridge

2 Conor O’Neill

4 Aidan Forker

6 Greg McCabe

7 Jarly Óg Burns

5 Ciaran Mackin

9 Shane McPartlan

10 Jason Duffy

11 Jemar Hall

24 Rory Grugan

13 Andrew Murnin

14 Rian O’Neill

15 Conor Turbitt


1 Odhrán Lynch

2 Chrissy McKaigue

6 Gareth McKinless

5 Conor McCluskey

7 Paudi McGrogan

5 Conor Doherty

3 Eoin McEvoy

8 Conor Glass

9 Brendan Rogers

10 Padraig Cassidy

11 Paul Cassidy

12 Ethan Doherty

13 Niall Toner

14 Shane McGuigan

15 Niall Loughlin

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


Gaelic Life is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW