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Armagh provide pointer as McGeeney demands more

Armagh 2-19 Queen's University 0-9

By John Campbell

At the outset of the Dr McKenna Cup competition, Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney demanded that his side should post much higher scores than they did last year in a bid to gain renewed credibility.

With two games gone, the Orchard County have already racked up an impressive 4-31 but the fiercely-driven McGeeney is keen to see his side further intensify their thirst for scores when they meet Down on Wednesday night with a semi-final place very much in their sights.

"We took most of our scoring chances in this game against Queen's even though it was hard to break them down in the first 20 minutes," declared McGeeney.

"We have a lot of young players coming through but we maybe tried to squeeze things through when they weren't actually on, yet that's maybe me looking for perfection rather than progression."

"We will face a stiff test against Down in midweek but the team is doing what we are asking them to do although we want to get even more scores if we can."

Queen's certainly offered stubborn resistance in the first half although by the halfway stage Aidan Forker, Oisin MacIomhair, Ben Crealey and Anthony Duffy had played key roles in thrusting Armagh into an 0-8 to 0-4 lead with Martin Clarke bagging three of Queen's scores.

But it was in the third quarter that the Orchard County cut loose. Ethan Rafferty's goal two minutes into the second half galvanised the side and a string of points followed with skipper Rory Grugan , Conor White and the influential Rafferty proving huge thorns in the side of the students' defence.

From the 45th minute until the final whistle Queen's only managed to land two points, one from Clarke and the other from an Aaron McClements free as Armagh in contrast freewheeled out of sight with substitutes Jamie Clarke, Jemar Hall and Niall Grimley joining in the scoring spree before Duffy's 74th minute goal applied the coup de grace to an accomplished overall performance.

Armagh: P Morrison; J Magill, C Vernon, O Lappin; A Forker 0-2, N Rowland, C Higgins; S Sheridan 0-1, A Findon; B Crealey 0-1, C White 0-2, R Grugan 0-2 (1f), A Duffy 1-2,E Rafferty 1-3 (1f), O MacIomhair 0-3 (1f). Subs: J Clarke 0-1 (f) for Crealey (53), N Grimley 0-1 for Findon (54), J Hall 0-1 for Grugan (61), D Carr for Higggins (63), D McKenna for Sheridan (65), J McCarron for Forker (72.) Yellow cards: Grimley (60), White (73).

Queen's: J O'Hare; R Wells, A Rushe, F Quinn; S Heffron, J McMahon, C Francis; A Doherty, D McKeever; C McCartan, M Clarke 0-4 (1f), A Morgan 0-1, J Dowling, A McClements 0-2 (1f), C Harney. Subs: S Fox for Harney, B McCann 0-2 for Dowling (both half-time), N Keenan for Wells (45), A Fegan for Doherty (52), R Finn for Heffron, O Hamill for Rushe (both 60), M McNamee for Morgan (65). Yellow card: Heffron (40).

Referee: Anthony Marron (Monaghan)

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