Armagh to fight another day

PETER McDONNELL, who had the unenviable task of trying to replace charismatic Joe Kernan as Armagh manager has refused to rule out current captain Paul McGrane and Oisin McConville being involved again next year.

However, McConville has hinted in the recent past that this could be his last season at the top flight and McGrane, aged 35, may not have the interest to commit himself to another year.

McConville was a sub on Saturday, but didn’t make an appearance.

McDonnell was insistent after his team’s shock defeat that it didn’t mark the end of an era for the Orchard County, saying this had been said about them last year and again the year before. “It’s just another step in the evolution of Armagh football. We’ll be back next year and we’ll start all over again. Last year was supposed to be the end of this team, but we have got an Ulster championship under our belt. There have been new fellows blooded this year. Hopefully, this experience will strengthen our resolve and give us something to start off next year.

“I don’t know who will be back. The Paul McGranes and the Oisin McConvilles of this world deserve a say, whether they want to be part of the panel or not.”

‘This is a dream’ ...

JUST over four minutes from the end of the game — with four points separating the teams — Armagh almost stole a goal after Aaron Kernan landed a free into the goalmouth. Fortunately for Wexford, ‘keeper Anthony Masterson, above, read the situation perfectly. “I just said to myself, ‘this can’t go into the net. If they don’t score a goal at this stage of the match they are not going to win.’ I decided to stay on the line. One of the Armagh boys got a flick on and just at the last second I got my foot to it. These are the little breaks you need to win. The ball bounced to a Wexford man, on another day it could have gone to an Armagh player and it would have been in the back of the net. It went off my left foot and over to the right hand side. Philip Wallace picked it up and passed it to Tom Wall and he drove it up the field.

“It’s a dream. Last year when I was captain of the junior team I was happy to get to an All-Ireland final, but this is unbelievable. Fair play to Matty. I knew when he got the chance of a goal he was going to stick it. It just shows the measure of the man — he gets his chances and puts them away. That’s why he got his Allstar and why he will probably get another one this year.”

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