Grimley has real cause for optimism

Armagh 0-21 Galway 1-12

Grimley has real cause for optimism

And that’s why manager Paul Grimley can now not only contemplate another season in this sector but take considerable encouragement for an Ulster championship campaign that will commence with a potential banana skin assignment against Cavan next month.

In summoning hitherto latent reserves of courage and character in defeating the Tribesmen, Armagh flashed a warning to their rivals.

Certainly, Grimley was beating the drum yesterday, although without quite making a deafening crescendo.

“I thought the team had a performance like this in them and they certainly came good on this occasion,” he said.

“We played some great football and now that we are staying in Division 2 we have the incentive to go and show our true worth in the Ulster championship.”

Armagh’s first-half dominance owed much to the authority of the imposing James Lavery and Stephen Harold at midfield and to the defensive skills of Aaron Kernan and the creative flair and exquisite finishing of Kevin Dyas.

The Orchard county swept into a 0-8 to 0-2 lead before Galway were roused from their slumber via a Conor Doherty goal in the 28th minute that helped sustain a revival that carried over into the third quarter when the visitors pulled level, 1-7 to 0-10.

But Armagh engaged overdrive again and with Harold a rich source of possession at midfield and Kieran Toner anchoring the defence, they visibly grew in confidence. Although impressive substitute Danny Cummins and the hard-working Gary Bradshaw managed to pilfer points to keep Galway in touch, Alan Mulholland’s side found themselves left marooned in the closing stages when four quick points cemented the most significant victory of manager Grimley’s reign.

Mulholland accepted his side had left themselves with too much to do after the first half.

“We came back well at one stage but Armagh still managed to produce a strong finish and there was not much we could do about it,” said the disappointed Galway boss.

Scorers for Armagh: A Kernan 0-6 (3f), K Dyas 0-5, S Harold & S Forker (2f) 0-3 each, T Kernan, S Clarke, B Mallon, C Rafferty 0-1 each.

Scorers for Galway: S Armstrong 0-5 (2f), C Doherty 1-0, M Meehan 0-3 (2f), D Cummins 0-2, G Bradshaw, P Conroy 0-1 each.

ARMAGH: P McEvoy; P McKeown, B Donaghy, M Shields; A Kernan, K Toner, F Moriarty, J Lavery; S Harold, C Rafferty; C Vernon, K Dyas, G McParland; T Kernan, S Forker.

Subs: D McKenna for Shields (14), S Clarke for McParland (41), J Donnelly for Donaghy (61), B Mallon for T Kernan (61), J Kingham for Harold (69).

GALWAY: M Breathnach; J Duane, F Hanley, C Forde; G Bradshaw, K Kelly, G Sice, G O’Donnell, A Griffin; E Concannon, P Conroy, C Doherty, S Armstrong, M Meehan, M Hehir.

Subs: D Cummins for Hehir (h/t), G Higgins for O’Donnell (40), G Sweeney for Sice (45), M Martin for Concannon (53), S Denvir for Bradshaw (64).

Referee: M Higgins (Fermanagh).

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