Sports Digest GAA: Cavan shocks with victory over Armagh
Cavan 1-15 Armagh 1-11
Cavan finally reaped the rewards of their recent success at under-21 level when their senior team dumped Armagh out of the Ulster Championship with a shock 1-15 to 1-11 win in Breffni Park on Sunday.
Eugene Keating and Martin Dunne destroyed the Armagh defense, and Alan Clarke kept the talismanic Jamie Clarke scoreless as Cavan ran up a deserved win.
Afterwards boss Terry Hyland said, “We won because of honesty and hard work. It might be a cliché to say it but that is what the modern game is about, you have to work hard.
“We lost the ball and made mistakes but guys recovered and worked hard and got the ball back.
“Jamie Clarke is one hell of a player and you can’t afford to give him room in front of him. We identified that when Armagh have the ball, they move a lot of men forward so we didn’t necessarily need to have a lot of men back.
“We knew we were going to have lots of space in there and it was a matter of getting the right ball in. There might have been a bit of nerves early on.
“We have a lot of young lads in, and there was a big crowd but we settled in and played good football. It’s always nice to kick scores but the boys put the ball on a plate and it’s my job to kick them over.
“I’m not that big of a build but Eugene Keating is a good target man and took a few hits for me! He won a lot of ball and we enjoyed ourselves out there.”
Armagh boss Paul Grimley said he had no regrets about abandoning a sweeper system in the defeat to Cavan.
Grimley ditched the defensive attitude that has been Armagh’s forte in recent years but paid a heavy price as the plan backfired at Breffni Park.
The new boss said, “I could have gone back to using a sweeper but this is the way we have been working for the last six months.
“As I said to the boys at halftime, there wouldn’t be much too me if I changed it after 35 minutes. I was never tempted to do it.
“You have to stand by what you believe in, win or lose. People will point the finger and say it’s tactically naïve but that’s the way we’re going to play.
“I suppose you have to give Cavan credit for the tactics they used too.”
The Armagh boss was annoyed that referee Maurice Deegan failed to play the advantage rule when he disallowed a second half goal from Jamie Clarke.
Grimley added, “I thought there was an advantage rule, maybe referees’ boss Pat McEnaney can give me an explanation for that one. I accept it doesn’t look good for us tonight but we’ll see where we are in a few weeks time.
“Look at Laois last year – they were put out in the first round and got to the All-Ireland quarterfinals.”
Westmeath Doesn’t Fear Dublin
WESTMEATH will face champions Dublin in their next Leinster SFC clash – with manager Pat Flanagan adamant his team have nothing to fear after beating Carlow by 3-15 to 1-10 in Sunday’s opening round.
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