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All Ireland Qualifiers: Dublin meeting is one to relish, says Armagh boss O’Rourke

By Micheal McGeary

It was the first one out of the hat and they don’t come any bigger than Dublin against Armagh in the All Ireland football qualifiers.

Armagh’s performance against Fermanagh yesterday is unlikely to send the Dubs running for cover but that will be tempered by the reminder of how Dublin shipped five goals against Meath after struggling to overcome Wexford.

Armagh manager Paddy O’Rourke said: “It’s a tough draw but it’s a game we’re looking forward to.”

Down’s reward for beating Longford is an away trip to Tullamore and a clash with Offaly, while Derry — boosted by a first home draw in four seasons — will relish the prospect of pitting their wits against Kildare at Celtic Park.

Manager Damian Cassidy is more than happy with the outcome of the draw.

“When you haven’t had a home game in four seasons you have to be happy and the hope is that Patsy Bradley may be able to take some part in that game,” said Cassidy.

“We’ve now have to aim to build on the momentum from the Westmeath match.

“I was delighted with the character we showed after having Joe Diver dismissed.

“We coped well with that and didn’t panic when they got through for a goal shortly afterwards.

“It was a critical period in the match, but we came through with flying colours.”

Cassidy also insisted that, contrary to reports, morale in the camp couldn’t be better.

“Some people in the media are writing whatever they like without once checking the facts,” he said.

“There are a number of players still absent through injury, but training has been well attended and I couldn’t find fault with the commitment of everyone involved.”

It appears that Kildare manager Kieran McGeeney is inextricably linked to Ulster counties.

After beating Antrim in a replay they were then paired with Leitrim managed by Derryman Mickey Moran and now next time out it’s Derry in Celtic Park.

All Ireland football qualifiers Round Three: Dublin v Armagh; Derry v Kildare, Offaly v Down, Wexford v Cork.

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