On a warm afternoon at a packed Morgan Athletic Grounds both the Senior & Minor teams lost out to Tyrone. On another day it could have been different with Tyrone just edging both games. Although fans were disappointed with the results, the fighting spirit, heart & desire both squads gave leaves us with hope of a bright future following the Orchard County.
Paddy O’Rourke has vowed to embrace the All-Ireland qualifiers saying “It’s all about building a team. There’s a lot of young players on that team, and if they want to move on, they have an opportunity to play in the qualifiers,” the Armagh manager said.
“A number of years ago, their year would be over, and they wouldn’t get the opportunity to do much about building a team. There’s a great opportunity now, there’s games in the back door, and I’m sure a lot of oppositions won’t want to meet them.”
The former Down All-Ireland winning captain cited an injury to Aaron Kernan and the dismissal of Kevin Dyas as major setbacks for Armagh.
“Those things don’t help, but sometimes you can deal with those things, but it’s very difficult to play against Tyrone with 15 players. When you go down a man, Tyrone are the masters of possession football, and it was going to be extremely difficult when we lost the man.”
He added: “It’s no consolation to come out the wrong side of a good game, but we would always be happy that we got a performance. But Tyrone are a quality team, and probably the players that they brought off the bench in the last few minutes helped them push on and win the game.”
Many of the Senior players are of a very young age and stood up to this experienced Tyrone side who are one of the favourites for the All-Ireland title. If we continue to show the heart and desire that was clear to see yesterday we may yet have a long summer ahead!
Photos by John Merry