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Armagh get off the mark at Longford

Armagh 3-11 Longford 3-09

By Pauric McGurn

Armagh registered their first victory in this year's National League following a two-point victory over Longford at a windswept Pearse Park yesterday.

The Orchard County looked set to take the full complement midway through the second period when they held a healthy eight-point cushion, but Longford dug deep in the final quarter and almost pulled off a remarkable comeback that wasn't to be.

Following on from their success a relieved Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney said he was pleased with the performance of his team.

"The lads showed great heart today but in the final minutes they nearly gave me heart failure, we finished it today out and that's the main thing," he said.

"With no disrespect to Longford, I thought we were the better team for most of the encounter.

"We created a lot of scoring opportunities.

"We got ourselves in a comfortable position and had a five point cushion but we gave away a sloppy goal in the second half.

"Despite that, our lads showed great character and that was the most pleasing part of our victory."

He added: "In was great to see Andrew Murin back after almost 18 months out, he gave a great display of himself, Jamie Clarke also was back into the fold and he did well.

"Brendan Donaghy gave a good account of himself so in that respect it's great to see some of our more established players getting game time. I've played a lot of games here at this venue and its always a hard place to come.

"It doesn't matter what division you are in or what county you're from, to beat Longford on their own turf is always a good result."

"Division Three this year is very competitive. Our team is getting stronger as we progress and we are very aware of what's needed at this level to get any type of run in the summer.

"In our next game we play Offaly at home and by the sounds of things today, they gave Louth a run for their money.

"We expect a similar contest against Offaly next week. It will be tough, aggressive and hard-hitting and we'll be up for the challenge."

Scorers:

Armagh: S Campbell 1-4,2f, O O'Neill 1-1, J Clarke 1-1, R Grugan 0-2,1f, A Murin 0-2,C White 0-1

Longford: R Smyth 0-4 1f L Connerton 1-0, J McGivney 1-0, 'L Moran 1-0, M Quinn 0-2,1'45, D Masterson, D Brady, B McKeon 0-1 each

Referee: J Molloy (Galway).

Belfast Telegraph

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