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Armagh restoring pride to their county

Telegraph Sport: where the debate starts

With Declan Bogue

Here's a common problem you run into as a reporter. You report on the stories as they present themselves. A few weeks ago, we ran our reports on the Armagh win over Cavan. We hadn't seen an Armagh win quite as impressive since the 2011 ambush of neighbours Down, who had contested an All-Ireland final only eight months previous.

However, the shine was taken off Armagh's fine win, somewhat, with the bizarre pre-match scenes when they and Cavan indulged in some Greco-Roman wrestling over the outside line of the parade.

There were claims that Cavan's Martin Dunne was targeted in this period, and when the dust settled, he had suffered a broken hand. However, video evidence emerged showing him enthusiastically contributing to the melee.

It was with this evidence that the Competitions Control Committee was able to impose a suspension on Dunne. It has been levelled at the press that we have not reported this. Well, here it is.

And perhaps we have not been entirely fair to Armagh in all this episode. Yesterday in my own column I even put forward the theory that at present they are wedded to a culture of self-created sideshows, and that they were in some way stock-piling excuses.Rash stuff, indeed.

Inside the Armagh set-up they would be rightly angered at such talk. On reflection, it is not fair to level such suspicions at a group that feel so under siege.

Armagh are in the business of winning games. They are restoring pride to a county that seemed to have lost it. But as for storing a sack of excuses to dip into?

Nah. That's our own bad call.

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