With Wolfe Tones and Sarsfields both safe from relegation this Sunday’s Division 1 derby between the sides at Derymacash will draw a big crowd considering the game is set to take place at 7.00pm.
Last season the Trasna men were unlucky not to have won the title having been league leaders for a period, but were caught on the line by eventual champions Crossmaglen.
The Tones for their part were also unlucky in 2014, they were piped at the post by St. Paul’s who won what turned out to be a Division 2 play-off on the final day of the season.
The Derrymacash side however have been the surprise package in the top flight this season. When they were in the first Division back in 2013 they won very few games but this year have been holding their own against the top sides despite being without Armagh player Finnian Moriarty for most of the year.
Following Sunday’s game against Sarsfields Wolfe Tones have two very winnable games against Tir na Nog and Carrickcruppin before travelling to Crossmaglen on the final day of the season.
The Derymacash side have a lot of experience in their line out which includes Johnny McCarron, former Armagh minor player Ruairi McCaughley, Declan Lavery who played for Down Minors, James Lavery who can shuttle between midfield and full forward and the returned from injury Niall Lennon. One of the most consistent players in the league Ryan McQuillan should line out at half back for the Tones who will need little motivation to face their Country rivals.
Following Sunday’s big derby tie Sarsfields have two home games against Carrickcruppin and title chasing Armagh Harps before travelling to current league leaders St. Patrick’s for the final game of the season.
The Trasna oufit unlike several other clubs in the County are able to operate on a continuous basis with no connections to County teams, they received a boost in the first half of the season with a gutsy win over Crossmaglen and were unlucky in their last game when sharing the spoils with Maghery.
Although Paul Magee has made only a few appearances for the Hoops this season, the High Moss will have the returned Christopher McGaughey back in their squad for the visit to Derrymacash. Eamon McGeown at midfield has matured into a very good player, Thomas McAlinden and former County player Michael Stevenson will have big roles against the Tones who will be keen to build on a successful season. The Derymacash pitch will invite fast and open football.
Considering the Tones have a game in hand over their rivals, the scoring averages of the sides are similar, to date Sarsfields have scored a total of 186 and conceded 159 and Wolfe Tones have an amalgamated total of 157 and conceded 129.
Possibly the biggest crowd of the season at local level will attend the game, the fact a 7.00pm throw in time has been chosen will swell the crowd. Both sides will have a further league game before they return to Championship action in the qualifiers.