Sports

Orchard look to 'Tip tha balance

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Orchard look to 'Tip tha balance thumbnailStephen Sheridan fires over a point during Armagh's narrow 1-12 to 1-7 win over Westmeath in Mullingar.

KIERAN McGeeney's Armagh will have a chance to get one over Tipperary in the next stage of the All-Ireland qualifiers.

The Munster outfit denied Armagh promotion to Division 2 and Michael Quinlivan's late goal not only prevented the Orchard from moving back up to the Division 2, but also secured promotion at Armagh's expense.

Armagh will now have a chance to avenge that league defeat in Thurles this Saturday.

Revenge or not it will be a tough assignment as the Munster side came from six points down to knock Cavan out of the Championship.

Armagh needed a late rally to shake off Westmeath on Saturday evening and while the performance failed to impress they showed great character and won when it mattered most.

Crossmaglen's Paul Hughes hailed the hunger shown by his side in Dr Cusack Park in Mullingar.

"It is great because the perception is there that we can't win ugly and we can't win the close games and I think we showed that there is a lot of character in this team and this group," said Hughes.

"We knew all day long that we are a close knit team and we knew that we could win these sort of games but we just didn't get the opportunity so thankfully we won a big game like this and you can see there on the pitch that it means a lot to the county so we are happy just to come out the right side of the result."

Hughes was grateful for Armagh's formidable bench and admitted that they are capable of playing much better.

"We didn't play our best football by any stretch of our imagination so we know we will be playing better teams the further we get, so we just have to up our game and keep playing the way we want to play," said Hughes.

"We are just happy to get into the next round. It was great to have the likes of Greg [McCabe], Soupy [Stefan Campbell]and Ethan [Rafferty] coming on, he has been injured most of the year, so it is like having a brand new player and big Oisin [O'Neill] and we all know what Oisin can do, he can strike some super scores and thankfully he got a couple today.

"We know that talent we have within the team and we see it in training every night and we are just happy we have them boys to come off the bench and help us."

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