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Thursday 22 June 2017

Geezer's Armagh look set to pip Tipp

Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney.
Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney.

After two ominous rounds, Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney would have settled for this: draw at home to Tipperary and promotion is guaranteed.

Armagh football appears to have been trapped in a vortex of negative vibes for a couple of years now, but finally there are tentative signs that the Orchard is stirring.

Not that you've guessed, halfway through February: Armagh had followed up a draw in Sligo with deflating defeat at home to Laois.

Their response was to score 12 goals in their next three games and then edge past Antrim (by two points last weekend) to make it four wins on the spin.

This mini-spree included a 14-point winning raid on Louth, who then bounced back with victory in Tipperary to seal promotion.

That latter result has put a huge dent in the aspirations of last year's All-Ireland semi-finalists.

Having blown one promotion showdown at home, Tipp must now win one away against a team with momentum.

In the nature of these things, Sligo are now the bookies' fancy to win in Louth. Meanwhile, it's win or bust at the bottom where Offaly host Laois and Antrim play Longford, all four stuck on four points.

(ALL GAMES TOMORROW, 2.0)

Athletic Grounds: Armagh v Tipperary, R Hickey (Clare). Odds: Armagh 8/15 Draw 15/2 Tipp 15/8. Verdict: Armagh

Gaelic Grounds: Louth v Sligo, N McKenna (Monaghan). Odds: Louth 15/8 Draw 15/2 Sligo 1/2. Verdict: Sligo

O'Connor Park: Offaly v Laois, A Nolan (Wicklow). Odds: Offaly 7/4 Draw 15/2 Laois 4/7. Verdict: Laois

Corrigan Park: Antrim v Longford, N Mooney (Cavan). Odds: Antrim evens Draw 6/1 Longford 11/10. Verdict: Antrim

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