O’Dwyer hails best Garden showing

MICK O’DWYER reckoned the performance in Armagh on Saturday evening was as good as Wicklow have produced since he took charge five years ago.

Big praise indeed for a man who showed little sign that he is ready for retirement. He patrolled the sideline, match programme folded over as if to make a baton, with enthusiasm and total concentration.

Each sub going on was given a belt on the shoulder or a slap on the back which would have felled an unsuspecting player, but they have grown used to him in Wicklow.

“That was the best display from a Wicklow team since I came to Wicklow. There is no doubt in the world at all about that. We haven’t had a good minor team, we haven’t had a good U21 team in Wicklow. And yet these fellows have come from nowhere and now they are playing brilliant football,” he said.

Other managers might engage modern science to get the message across to players but O’Dwyer sticks to the tried and trusted. So, what did he say to them when they were in a huddle before extra-time?

“I was asking for more and more effort from every player on the pitch. Some of them were looking in when they should have been going in,” he said.

What Armagh manager Paddy O’Rourke made of it all we can only guess as he declined to speak to the media afterwards.

Not even the intervention of a county board officials could persuade him to discuss what was a very poor performance. They are lucky to be still in the championship but whether O’Dwyer can get Wicklow to lift their game again next weekend remains to be seen.

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