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Jamie Clarke named at half-back ahead of Antrim vs Armagh

Armagh team vs Tyrone in Dr McKenna Cup, January 2015

There will be four changes in the Armagh side for this Sunday’s clash with Antrim in Creggan, one of which is forced by Ciaran McKeever’s suspension.

Armagh will be hoping to bounce back from last Sunday’s defeat to bitter rivals Tyrone. The Red Hands will most likely top Section C unless they slip up against St Mary’s or Antrim, but Armagh could clinch the fourth semi-final with two high scoring victories in their remaining games.

Manager Kieran McGeeney confirmed last week that he would not be rotating the squad, and warned each player would have to earn their opportunities. He has stuck to his word and only made two unforced switches to the team that started last week’s fiery contest. Suspended captain Ciaran McKeever has been replaced by Jamie Clarke who may start in half back after playing a defensive role last week when he was introduced to the game as a substitute.

Matthew McNeice will start in goal, he steps in in for Middletown stopper Niall Geoghegan who injured his ankle last week. One familiar face back in the side is Brendan Donaghy who has been a pivotal for the team in recent years, Donaghy’s return will allow Aaron Findon to move back to his usual midfield role.

There are two changes in the full forward line, Oisín Mac Íomhair and Caolan Rafferty have been given the chance to stake their claim for starting positions in the coming months. Mac Íomhair comes off the back of a very strong season for his club Annaghmore and this will be Rafferty’s first inter-county start since breaking his hand last season.

Here’s the Armagh team to face Antrim:

1 Matthew McNeice
2 Mark McConville
3 Brendan Donaghy
4 Michael Murray
5 Mark Shields
6 Finnian Moriarty
7 Jamie Clarke
8 Aaron Findon
9 Stefan Campbell
10 Stefan Forker
11 Míceál McKenna
12 Eugene McVerry
13 Oisín Mac Íomhair
14 Caolán Rafferty
15 Niall McConville

16 Tim Harney
17 Sean Connell
18 Tony Kernan
19 Eoin McArdle
20 Stephen Sheridan
21 Seamus Kelly
22 Feidhlim O’Neill
23 James Donnelly
24 Declan McKenna
25 Paul Courtney
26 Gavin McParland

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