Single point defeat for Armagh

�Russell Pritchard 15th December 2013'O'Fiaich Cup Final between Armagh v Derry at St.Oliver Plunkett Park, Crossmaglen'Armaghs Phelim O'Neill and Derrys Ciaran McFaul in action at Sundays Final.'�Russell Pritchard / Presseye
�Russell Pritchard 15th December 2013'O'Fiaich Cup Final between Armagh v Derry at St.Oliver Plunkett Park, Crossmaglen'Armaghs Phelim O'Neill and Derrys Ciaran McFaul in action at Sundays Final.'�Russell Pritchard / Presseye

Armagh 2-15 Derry 2-16

Armagh lost by a point to Derry after extra-time in last Sunday’s O’Fiaich Cup Final played in Crossmaglen.

Paul Grimley handed Jamie Clarke his seasonal debut and despite missing a penalty the returning star scored a goal and two points against an Oak Leaf side missing their Ballinderry contingent who were involved in the All-Ireland Club series.

Clarke’s second spot kick was successful and his club colleague Kyle Carragher continues to impress and on this occasion the Rangers striker hit 1-01.

Maghery brothers Stefan and Aidan Forker scored five points between them, Caolin Rafferty scored two points and single scores were registered by Robbie Tasker, Stefan Campbell, Ethan Rafferty, Steven Harold, Eugene McVerry and Eithan Rafferty.

Although it will be at the beginning of the National League campaign before Armagh have the resemblance of a settled side, early indications are suggesting that competition for places will be fierce in 2014.

Armagh: P Rodgers; P Hughes, G McCooey, M Murray; C McKeever, C Vernon, R Grugan; A Findon, P O’Neill; R Tasker, S Campbell, A Forker; K Carragher, E Rafferty, S Forker.

Subs: J Clarke for O’Neill (25), S Harold for Findon (35), M Shields for McKeever (ht), E McVerry for S Forker (43), C Rafferty for Grugan (48), B Mallon for Campbell (50), K Toner for E Rafferty (61), N Geoghan for Rodgers (62), N McConville for Tasker (63), K O’Rourke for Carragher (68).

Following the O’Fiach Cup final Armagh have named a squad of 26 for the forthcoming McKenna Cup series.

Several players who are not named will be playing for their Universities in the competition and eight players from county champions Crossmaglen will also be unavailable. Ciaran McKeever has been named as the captain for the forthcoming campaign which begins with a game against Queens University on January 5th at the Athletic Grounds. Armagh’s group also contains both Donegal and Tyrone.

The McKenna Cup squad is as follows;

1. Philip McEvoy, 2. Mark Shields, 3. Ciaran McKeever (captain), 4. Gary McCooey, 5. Charlie Vernon, 6. Stephen Harold, 7. Kieran Toner, 8. Stefan Campbell, 9. Stefan Forker, 10. Caolan Rafferty, 11. Eugene McVerry, 12. Rory Gurgan, 13. Ethan Rafferty, 14. Brian Mallon, 15. Niall McConville, 16. Jamie Clarke, 17. Andy Mallon, 18. Michael Murray, 19. Robbie Tasker, 20. Kevin O’Rourke, 21. Oisín Mac Íomhair, 22. Ciarán MacÍomhair, 23. Phelim O’Neill, 24. Ciaran Rafferty, 25. Niall Geoghegan, 26. Finian Moriarty.