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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 11 December, 2018

McGeeney includes 4 championship debutants in Armagh side to face Down

Blaine Hughes, Paul Hughes Aaron McKay and Oisin O’Neill make the starting 15.

Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney.
Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney.
Image: Presseye/Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

ARMAGH MANAGER KIERAN McGeeney has named five championship debutants in his starting 15 for Sunday’s Ulster quarter-final against Down at Páirc Esler (2pm throw-in).

McGeeney, who will be watching on from the stands as he is serving a 12-week suspension following an incident in a league clash against Antrim, has handed starts to Blaine Hughes, Aaron McKay, Paul Hughes and Oisin O’Neill for the Newry clash.

The debutants are well spread out across the field with Blaine Hughes in goal and defensive sports for Paul Hughes and Aaron McKay. St Mary’s Sigerson Cup winner Oisin O’Neill will start at centre-forward.

Jamie Clarke leads a strong Orchard attack from right corner-forward in what is his first championship start in almost two years.

A full house is expected on Sunday and going by their league form the sides should be closely matched, Down having finished sixth in Division 2 and the Orchard County narrowly missing out on promotion from the third tier with a final-day, one-point defeat to Tipperary.

Armagh (v Down)

1. Blaine Hughes (Carrickcruppen)

2. James Morgan (Crossmaglen Rangers)
3. Charlie Vernon (Armagh Harps)
4. Paul Hughes (Crossmaglen Rangers)

5. Aaron McKay (Dromintee)
6. Brendan Donaghy (Clonmore Robert Emmetts)
7. Mark Shields (St Killian’s)

8. Stephen Sheridan (Forkhill)
9. Niall Grimley (Madden)

10. Aidan Forker (Maghery)
11. Oisin O’Neill (Crossmaglen Rangers)
12. Rory Grugan (Ballymacnab – capatin)

13. Jamie Clarke (Crossmaglen Rangers)
14. Stefan Campbell (Clan na Gael)
15. Andrew Murnin (St Paul’s)

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