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Armagh have a big act to follow in British Top Team championship

Armagh player Jal Richardson

Armagh player Jal Richardson

  • by Alex Mills
 

Armagh have a big act to live up to when they feature in the British Top Team championship at Tenby over the weekend.

Irish sides have an admirable record in the event, having failed to lift the title on only one occasions since the tournament’s inaugural year back in 1995.

They will attempt to enhance their reputation against the Welsh and English champions, Pembrokeshire and Cheshire over the two-day event.

It was Cheshire who became the blot on the landscape by defeating Northern two years ago, which interrupted the Irish dominance in the competition.

Armagh, who won last season’s Boomer Cup which earned them the right to compete in the Top Team Championship, are now looking to clock up their third success.

“Irish teams have a proud record in this event, hopefully we can keep that going,” said Armagh zone convener Flo McNally. “We know what is required as we have won the title on two previous occasions.

“Our first success was back in 2004 following a great five-year run by Mid Ulster. Then we got our hands on the silverware again in 2009.

“We know the other teams have been making rapid progress. That was reflected with Cheshire’s victory a couple of years ago, when they defeated a good Northern side.

“But we’ll be going there with a strong squad of players with plenty of experience, capable of upholding Ireland’s proud tradition.”

The Series will feature games in singles, pairs, triples and fours, played in tandem with team matches.

“It will be another big test,” added McNally. “It’s a journey into the unknown in many ways . . . we don’t quite know the strength of the opposition.

“But we have players that can hold their own in any short mat company . . . the likes of Joe Beattie, Aidan Corrigan, Andrew Leckey Danny McDonald and Jal Richardson.

“We’re confident we can keep our great run in this tournament going by bringing home the title.”

Mid Ulster recaptured the Top Team crown last season on home carpets at the Lakeland Forum, Enniskillen, following Northern’s failure in 2011.

They totally demolished the opposition, which included the current champions, Cheshire, and Welsh side Swansea, who were making their tournament debut.

The Armagh squad is: Colin Deering, George Crothers, Jim Hendren, Steven McCall, Laurence McCarten, Terry Mulholland, Mark Sproule, Paul Whittle, David Beattie, Joe Beattie, Aidan Corrigan, Reggie Collen, Raymond Hunter, Robert Hunter, Sean Breen, Danny McDonald, Chris Trainor, Kieran Trainor, Martin Trainor, William Gilpin, Chris Mulholland, Nigel Uprichard, Andrew Leckey, Jal Richardson, Pat Garvey, Chris Trainor.

 

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