Armagh and Down to open St Paul’s ground

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ARMAGH and Down seniors will officially open the new St Paul’s ground on Sunday, May 20, at 6pm.

The revamped Taghnevan venue boasts a training pitch and a match pitch, both are in pristine condition.

With Armagh building up to their crunch Ulster Championship encounter in June against Tyrone, the game at St Paul’s could give some indication of the county’s line out for the provincial opener at the Athletic Grounds.

The St Paul’s club was founded in the early seventies and, in their first two decades, had won the Intermediate Championship, two First Division Titles and contested two Senior Championship Finals.

At Senior level, the Lurgan side’s form has dipped somewhat over recent years, but at underage level St Paul’s can hold their own with most clubs.

Their new complex at Taghnevan has been the result of many years of hard work by the club’s members and committee.

A fortnight after the St Paul’s pitch opening, the club will be holding a community festival and scheduled events will be highlighted in the press over the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, Armagh took on Monaghan last Sunday in a challenge game. Paddy O’Rourke’s team welcomed back Ciaran Toner at midfield who partnered Crossmaglen’s Johnny Hanratty.

Mark Cullen from the Pearse Óg club hit the only goal of the game for the Orchard County - who won the challenge game by a point.

Brian Mallon, Paul Carville and Stephan Campbell all got a run out against Monaghan, who fielded a strong side.

John Kingham, who showed flashes of good form during the league, had a decent outing against Monaghan and Maghery’s Aidan Forker also stood out.

Crossmaglen’s Jamie Clarke and Tony Kernan started in the forward line.

Armagh face their toughest possible opponents in Tyrone who visit the Athletic Grounds in June and will start as favourites for the game.