City manager Marty Rice received a welcome boost over the Christmas period as he welcomed Dara Noonan back into the squad.
The younger central defender had been expected to miss the rest of the season after suffering a knee injury against H&W Welders at Tillysburn in October. Having initially been been diagnosed as an ACL tear that would require surgery, a brighter prognosis was offered when a second opinion was given on the scan. Having returned to training in recent weeks, Dara will now be a welcome addition to a City squad that has been hit by injuries and suspensions all season.
Armagh City 2 (S McGerrigan, Campbell)
A John Uprichard strike deep into injury-time was enough to see Loughgall grab all three points in a dramatic local derby at a chilly Holm Park on Boxing Day, as Dean Smith’s squad finally saw off an Armagh City side that had twice come from behind to level.
City started the livelier of the two sides, with Conor Mullen hitting the post with an early effort before Shea McGerrigan found himself through on goal from a swift counter attack, but he blazed wide of the target from outside the area.
The visitors grabbed the lead on 15 minutes with their first meaningful foray into City territory when Eoin Toal failed to clear, allowing Peter Campbell to cross from the left for Jack Upritchard to volley home an unstoppable effort at the back post.
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Laura Keegan presents Shea McGerrigan with his player of the month award for November, sponsored by Keegan’s Bar.
City winger Shea McGerrigan has been rewarded for his impressive performance in recent weeks by deservedly grabbing the Player of the Month award for November.
Following a spell on the sidelines due to injury early in the season, the local star has returned to the starting lineup and grabbed a pair of important goals during the month for Marty Rice’s side against Warrenpoint Town in the Championship, and against Loughgall in the Mid-Ulster Cup semi-final.
The left wing wizard has been back to his best in recent weeks, and has played his part in City’s resurgence while linking up well with fellow attackers Philip Donnelly, Andrew Hoey, Shea Campbell and Conor Mullen.
Congratulations to Shea on his well-deserved award, and thanks as ever to Keegan’s Bar for their sponsorship of the monthly prize.
Armagh City 2 (S McGerrigan, Mullen)
H&W Welders 2
This match had a bit of everything, with a questionable penalty award, a debatable sending off and an equaliser for City in the dying seconds of the match.
The opening minutes brought early pressure from the visitors which caused some uncertainty in a City defence which was fortunate to survive on a couple of occasions as they failed to clear their lines properly.
The first serious effort on goal came after ten minutes when a Paul Carvill effort went just past the angle of crossbar and post. The match became a midfield and it wasn’t until the 20th minute that the visitors’ Ethan Boylan almost broke clear but John Connolly was sharply off his line to thwart the striker. Minutes later a superb Dale Montgomery strike came crashing off keeper Samuel Johnston’s left hand post at the other end. Almost immediately the Welders went down the field and a Scott McMillan effort from long range went wide of the target.
Just before the half hour mark the visitors were awarded a penalty for a high foot in the area and David Rainey step up to dispatch the penalty and give the visitors the lead. Things got worse for the home side just over a minute later when Ultan Lennon was shown a straight red when he was he was rather harshly adjudged to have denied a goal scoring opportunity just outside the area when it looked as if he had actually made contact with the ball.
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In our latest interview in conjunction with the Ulster Gazette, City’s Mid-Ulster Cup goal-scoring hero Paul Carvill gives his thoughts on getting a lengthy run in the first team, and his views on the strength of the Championship. Get your Ulster Gazette every Tuesday morning for all the reports, interviews and analysis from Holm Park!
Photo courtesy of Ulster Gazette
In it for the long run!
by Sam Gamble
Experienced Armagh City full-back Paul Carvill has expressed his delight at getting an extended run in the City first team this season. The left-back has been a mainstay in Marty Rice’s starting eleven this season and thought results have varied during that spell, he has enjoyed every minute of it.
“Over the last year or two I have been behind Ryan McGerrigan and he was playing so well that I really couldn’t complain about not getting game time. Marty is probably spoilt for talent on the left hand side and last year he had Ryan and Shea really playing well and I was left kicking my heels.
“I probably didn’t help myself at times when I was more committed to playing GAA at times, but I now know that you can’t just dip in and out of the club and expect game time. I settled myself down and focused on getting into the team from August and while performances have varied it has been great to get a run in the team.”
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£250 – Jim Bruce
£25 – Junior Lynch
£25 – Roly McCabe
£25 – Alan Cauldwell
Congrats to all this month’s winners, and thanks to everyone who has signed up. There are still spaces available if you’d like to be in with a chance of winning some handy cash for the New Year! Check out full details here, and get involved for just £5 a month. Remember, the more people involved, the more prize money available!