Armagh manager, Paul Grimley, was dealt a significant blow ahead of Saturday’s game against Meath with the news that captain Ciarán McKeever would miss out on the rest of his side’s league campaign due to a knee injury.
Charlie Vernon has been given the task of filling Ciaran McKeever’s boots by the Armagh management. Normally a midfielder, Vernon featured at full back in the second round defeat to Down. Andy Mallon will wear the number three jersey while Jamie Clarke will skipper the team in McKeever’s absence.
Four changes have been made, some of them enforced, with Ethan Rafferty, Brian Mallon, Robbie Tasker and McKeever making way for Michael Murray, Feidhlim O’Neill, Aaron Findon and Caolan Rafferty.
Down, meanwhile, followed up their opening round draw against Monaghan with a last-gasp victory over Armagh in Round 2 on February 7 and face Louth on Saturday.
The Louth team is coached by former Down assistant, Aidan O’Rourke.
On Sunday, there is a great tussle in prospect when the top two teams in Division Two, Donegal and Monaghan go head-to-head.
The game is a repeat of the 2013 Ulster final, which Monaghan famously won.
“They will be very keen to remain unbeaten and the challenge for us will be to halt them. That won’t be easy in this division, where on any given day any side could beat any other side,” Monaghan manager Malachy O’Rourke said this week.
In Division One, Derry face Westmeath while unbeaten Tyrone, recent winners of the McKenna Cup, face Kildare.
Saturday - Div Two - Meath v Armagh, Down v Louth; Sunday - Div One - Kildare v Tyrone, Derry v Westmeath; Div Two – Donegal v Monaghan; Div Three – Wexford v Cavan, Longford v Fermanagh; Div Four – Antrim v Tipperary