Derby games on the cards

SHOULD the present format of four divisions remain in place for this season’s Armagh All County League, several big local derbies will see long standing rivalries once again emerge.

Although there had been a motion from the Armagh County Board suggesting a restructuring of the current format, with the consent of clubs in the county, to see three divisions replace the traditional four, the old order looks set to be maintained.

In division one Maghery, Clann Éireann, Sarsfields and Wolfe Tones will all be involved in local derbies in 2012,  with the clash between the ‘Trasna outfit and the ‘Cash men being seen as being particularly significant.

With the Tones new pitches set to be opened for pre-season friendlies and league action, the newly promoted side will be delighted to be once again on home soil.

And the ‘Cash club deserve great credit for gaining promotion last season despite playing all their games away fom home.

Another club who will be delighted to see their home venue reopened are Clan na Gael who will renew derby rivalries with St Peter’s in the forthcoming season.

The Clans would have big aspirations of climbing straight back to the top flight but St Peter’s for their part may be content to sustain their new division two status in the forthcoming season.

In division three the forthcoming year will see local rivals Éire Óg and St. Paul’s go head to head.

The Taghnevan club survived comfortably last season and Éire Óg showed great ambition winning the league and championship double.

Whilst it should be noted that several local clubs collected silverware in 2011, it will be interesting to see if a level of consistency can be maintained.

Managerial status quos have been sustained at Wolfe Tones, Éire Óg and Sarsfields with Clann Éireann, St Paul’s and Clan na Gael all still to put new management structures in place.

St. Peter’s have moved quickly to bring stability to their senior set up.