Armagh without Kernan brothers for clash against Cavan

Armagh's Aaron Kernan
Armagh's Aaron Kernan

For the second year in a row, Armagh and Cavan face other in their opening fixture of the Ulster Senior Football Championship.

Last year they met in the Preliminary Round, with Cavan taking full advantage of a very attack-minded Armagh side to record a 1-15 to 1-11 win.

“We would expect them to be more defensive than they were this time last year, and not be as all out attacking as they were,” said Cavan boss Terry Hyland.

“I think it will be a 50:50 game. We were a surprise package to them last year. That is gone now and that will make it an awful lot tougher for us.”

In terms of injured players, Armagh aren’t faring too badly at present. Aaron Kernan is not named to start, having torn his hamstring at the end of April.

Ciarán McKeever and James Morgan are also available after recent injuries.

McKeever starts at left half back, with Morgan in the left corner back slot. James Lavery (neck) is out, but Brendan Donaghy is named at number six, having been out injured for the past six months with tendonitis.

Up front, Tony Kernan has not made the side, with Caolan Rafferty, Kevin Dyas, Eugene McVerry, Ethan Rafferty and Stefan Campbell getting the nod in attack alongside Clarke.

New captain Jamie Clarke hopes Armagh deliver a better performance against Cavan than they did last year.

“It was difficult,” the Crossmaglen forward said recently.

“You could look at our preparation and our personnel that day. The mood wasn’t right in camp.”