Laois were triumphant against Armagh in Round 2 of the Allianz National Football League in O’Moore Park this evening and manager, Mike Quirke was very pleased with his team’s performance.
Having pulled off a last minute draw against Roscommon last weekend, the home side were eager to push on and get their first league win but first, they had to tackle Armagh who had a strong win against Cavan in their league opener.
Laois took an early lead and had more control over the game from throw-in. The Northern men headed to the dressing room trailing by six points at half time and couldn’t seem to find their feet against Mike Quirke’s diverse Laois side.
Speaking after the game, Quirke said: “I’m very happy with that win. We’re not overly surprised by it, we’ve seen it in training but we did what we were hoping to do.”
“Since we came in here we knew there was a lot of talent. Everybody keeps focusing on the guys that aren’t here and I’m telling you to start noticing the guys who are here because we’ve a lot of really good footballers.”
While last week saw a poorer opening half that second half for Quirke’s chargers, two strong halves today made the difference and he is looking forward to the season ahead.
You’d be hoping this team won’t reach their full potential for another couple of months but it’s a step in the right direction, tough for Armagh, tough to replicate last week’s performance against Cavan but that was a really good performance from us.
“They’re showing everyone that this is as good as they can be,”he continued.
On the other side of the result was McGeeney’s side where he was far from impressed with their performance this evening.
He said: “We just didn’t play well. We were poor from start to finish, we got into trouble, gave the ball away, poor shots from play, poor shots in action, poor passes. I could go through the whole list.
“In the last games and through the McKenna Cup, even, we played well but we were just poor but obviously that stops with me and whatever we were doing during the week just didn’t work.
"It’s annoying because we’re a lot better than that. We just fell into a lot of traps and did a lot of silly stuff. It’s just a poor display.”
Looking on to the next few league games, the former Kildare manager explained: “It’s about learning from the mistakes and pushing forward. My job is to coach, point out things and critique and their job is to learn and move on from it,” he added.
Both teams are back out for Round 3 next week where Armagh welcome Kildare on Saturday, February 8 while Laois are also at home to Cavan on Sunday, February 9 at 2pm.