Sports

Crunch clash for Orchard

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Crunch clash for Orchard thumbnailArmagh cruised to a 30-point victory over Offaly on Sunday but boss Kieran McGeeney is refusing to get carried away ahead of Louth test in Drogheda

ARMAGH manager Kieran McGeeney downplayed the 30-point win over Offaly on Sunday insisting it was little more than another National League victory.
“We just needed a win and that was the biggest thing," said McGeeney.
“Over the last couple of games the forward line have threatened to click but they haven't and we made things difficult on ourselves but today they played some lovely football and took some nice scores.
“But it's like the old cliché we are not as good as that and Offaly are not as bad as that."
The result means that Armagh's fate is in their own hands with Sunday's (March 12) clash against Louth already the proverbial four-pointer. Antrim also await with Tipperary visiting the Athletic Grounds for the last game of the League campaign.
Considering Armagh were relegated on scoring difference the 30-point winning margin may come into play but the Orchard boss is more concerned about the improvement in performances, especially with the forthcoming clash against the Wee County.
“That's where we got caught last year; you would like to think it would stand to you," said McGeeney.
“We have Louth, Tipperary and Antrim for our last three games. Antrim like ourselves started the League a wee bit jittery but they ran Louth close, so they have been pushing hard and are playing a better brand of football than they did at the start, much like ourselves.
“So out of those three games, two essentially will determine where you go. Both Louth and Tipperary and if Antrim win their next game - it could play in the same way."
Brendan Donaghy and Ciaran McKeever got some game-time but with Andrew Murnin, Stefan Campbell and Jamie Clarke lining out in full-forward, the Orchard look to have a menacing attack and that is pleasing McGeeney was also content that his defence have tidied up from making errors.
“Looking at the last couple of games the goals, bar the first one we conceded against Longford, have been our own downfall," said McGeeney.
“Nothing other than defensive errors and a wee bit of stupidity on our behalf, really sloppy stuff. I would consider Dunne and Allen as two quality inside forwards and we just cut out the silly mistakes and our inside line with Murnin, Soupy [Campbell] and Jamie played very well. They played some stylish football.
“Jamie he played very well and it is great to see him and Murnin back in the team. There are some counties who can maybe miss those types of players and move on but not many
“One thing you have to give Jamie, he is not a selfish player and sometimes I am looking him to be more ruthless and take the shot but they did well today and it is pleasing but it is still only two points. The score we put on the board was impressive but we are not better off."
And as McGeeney aims to find a more settled team, competition for places is rife and the Orchard boss hopes his side can take that combative mood and the confidence from Sunday's trouncing of Offaly into the 'must win' game at the weekend.
“As we are getting players back we have a little more competition and bit more competitiveness and I think we are going to need it all because we have Louth up next," said McGeeney.
“It will be a tough game down in Drogheda, they seem to be flying high but for us it was nice to get that sort of win and a wee bit of confidence for the

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