Smiles at last for Armagh performance

Allianz Football League Division 2, Pairc Tailteann, Navan, Co. Meath 1/3/2014 'Meath vs Armagh'Meath's Andrew Tormey and Donal Keoghan with Jamie Clarke of Armagh'Mandatory Credit �INPHO/Morgan Treacy
Allianz Football League Division 2, Pairc Tailteann, Navan, Co. Meath 1/3/2014 'Meath vs Armagh'Meath's Andrew Tormey and Donal Keoghan with Jamie Clarke of Armagh'Mandatory Credit �INPHO/Morgan Treacy
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Meath 2-10 Armagh 0-19

Armagh manager Paul Grimley has praised his players following their excellent win over Meath last Saturday night in Navan.

The win brought a lot of praise from the fans and a smile to the team manager who said, “In the past we might have been seen as a team who buckled when faced with adversity. Meath are a big physical team but the lads battled well to dig out a victory.”

Armagh will host Laois on Saturday night at the Athletic Grounds in what will be seen as a must win game a scenario, not lost on the Orchard supremo. “Laois hit a goal and twenty points last weekend against Galway and we shot nineteen points, so where does that leave us? It could be a shoot-out on Saturday if both sides decide to go all out attack so we will have to see who blinks first.”

Against Meath last weekend Armagh battled back from a six points deficit having fallen behind to goals from Bryan McMahon and Steven Newman. In a virtuoso performance Jamie Clarke, who wore the skippers armband, hit eleven points and on the evening was supplemented by the county’s most consistent forward this season Stefan Campbell, Kevin Dyas, Caolin Rafferty and Annghmore’s Oisin MacLomhair.

St. Peter’s midfielder Aaron Findon, who will be a major player for Steven McDonald’s under 21 side this season, was sent off against Meath for a black card offence after 31 minutes, but Grimley believes this will have no negative effect on the whites mans future performances.

“I have aired my views many times on the black card ruling, it is a bit of a joke to be honest, but it is here and we have to deal with it.

“We lost Aaron Findon against Meath, he is a young player with a big future and I don’t thing what happened to him will have any effect on his future performances.”

Armagh fought back from the worst possible start to claw their way back into contention at half time despite facing a strong wind, although the Royals took the advantage straight after the break. The visitors put in a resounding second half performance, pleasing their travelling supporters and setting up an interesting end to their league campaign.

“We will need to build on this win,” added Grimley. “A good result against Laois would show a level of consistency. We need back to back wins before facing major challenges against Monaghan and Donegal.

Although Armagh have still only three points from three games and considering pending fixtures are probably out of the running for promotion a win on Saturday will inspire confidence.