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Armagh can be history boys, insists versatile Carvill

 

By Declan Bogue

Armagh's versatile Cahal Carvill has urged his team mates to write their own history and become the first side from the Orchard County to claim an Ulster hurling title when they face Antrim in the final on Sunday at Owenbeg (2.30pm).

"Hurling in general, 90% of it is between the ears and getting yourself mentally right, that we can actually go and beat these boys," the 29-year-old solicitor said.

"You have got to the stage where, yes, we can compete against them. But let's take the next step and go and beat them.

"I said last year that it is great to be the second best hurling team in Ulster. But in life, I don't want to be second best to anybody. It's about being number one and we will be ready to take that step."

Armagh set up a repeat of last year's final by beating neighbours Down last Saturday.

Their late push was inspired by Carvill moving into the full-forward line, winning a succession of frees from his marker Sean Ennis and contributing on the scoreboard himself - and he believes a win on Sunday would represent the pinnacle of his career.

"To play in an All-Ireland club final (for Middletown), winning titles with Armagh, Nicky Rackards and league titles has been brilliant and I have very fond memories. But winning an Ulster Championship, no matter what people say, would be the icing on the cake," he said.

"You want to test yourself against the best and Antrim are the kingpins at the minute. But we feel we have enough to take them off their perch."

Armagh hurling has been a labour of love for some within the county, such as former county board chairman Paul Duggan, who could be seen celebrating with the players after the semi-final triumph.

They have supplanted Down and Derry in the province and while they fell to a heavy defeat to Antrim in last year's Ulster final, they showed enough for the majority of the game that they can be considered competitive against the Saffrons.

Making it to the Liam Harvey Cup decider clearly means the world to Carvill, no matter how diminished the competition appears to be to some.

"I said to the boys beforehand, in the history of Armagh hurling, we have been in three Ulster hurling finals. That's four now," he points out.

"We are writing history for ourselves and for the team. It's great for the younger boys to see; 'There's Armagh in another hurling final' - they are talking more about hurling and the past few years it's all been about us being the flagship for the younger generation coming through."

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