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Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Paddy Tierney

Armagh handed huge boost as Rian O’Neill is cleared for Donegal clash

Armagh’s Ulster Championship prospects have received a hugh boost with the news that star attacker Rian O’Neill has been cleared to play in next weekend’s Championship showdown against Donegal in Ballybofey.

The Crossmaglen clubman was handed a proposed one-match ban arising from the melee at the end of last month’s Division One League encounter with Donegal in Letterkenny.

In total, six players were handed suspensions from the incident, but O’Neill’s was only issued after Armagh had indicated their intention to appeal the bans handed out to Aidan Nugent, Ciaran Mackin and Stefan Campbell.

Read more: Derry’s Championship hopes hit as Ciaran McFaul exits panel

Donegal opted against appealing the one-match bans issued to defenders Neil McGee and Odhran McFadden-Ferry.

It is understood that O’Neill’s teammates are awaiting news of their appeals tonight (Monday), but O’Neill’s availability is a huge lift to Kieran McGeeney’s men as he was their best player during their impressive Division One League campaign.

The Orchard County needed a play-off win over Roscommon last season to stay in Division One, but started their season with stunning victories over both Dublin and Tyrone before finishing third behind Division One champions Kerry and Mayo.

Ballybofey will host the eagerly-awaited rematch between Armagh and Donegal on Sunday, April 24 with the Ulster SFC getting underway this weekend when holders Tyrone take on Fermanagh at Brewster Park.

Read more: Armagh will bounce back from Roscommon rout insists ‘Sambo’ McNaughton

Read more: Kerry come from behind to deny Armagh promotion in Division Two decider

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