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McConnell after more as Orchard beat Longford to book semi spot

By John Campbell

Armagh hurling team boss Sylvester McConnell believes his side will need to step up further if they are to have any chance of winning the Nicky Rackard Cup.

The Orchard County beat Longford by 3-19 to 2-11 on Saturday to clinch a semi-final meeting with Fingal who have already recorded wins over Longford and Monaghan.

In the process, though, they have conceded 6-29 but McConnell still believes that his team will have to find another gear if they are to land the trophy.

Even though they were missing Shay Gaffney and Cathal Carvill on Saturday, Armagh still managed to close the game out emphatically against a Longford side that showed plenty of graft and courage but failed to match their visitors in terms of stamina and scoring power.

Conor Corvan, Stephen Renaghan and Declan Coulter snapped up Armagh's goals and with Ryan Gaffney piloting over a series of frees, they were always in the driving seat.

But the wily McConnell acknowledges that there are bigger tasks ahead.

"We have Fingal on our radar now and they will be boosted by their two wins so far. I think we have seen that any team can beat any other team in his competitions so we have to be very wary," maintains McConnell.

Donegal will face Mayo following their hard-earned 4-14 to 3-14 win over Monaghan in Inniskeen

In a relegation play-off Fermanagh and Tyrone will go head to head.

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