McDonnell pleased with new boys
Armagh manager Peter McDonnell chose his words carefully following his side's draw against Cork yesterday, conscious that a tumultuous climax tended to mask a distinctly ordinary contest.
"It was interesting," mused McDonnell. "But we now have had a chance to look a number of players and it was good to see people like Paul Kernan and David McKenna showing what they can do. David gave us aerial ability around the middle which I feel is something that we have been lacking."
On the turbulent finish that saw several players booked and Aaron Kernan dismissed, McDonnell said: "Actually, I was quite happy it finished the way it did. It brought a new intensity to the game and served as a test for us."
His Cork counterpart Conor Counihan revealed that a number of his players had been involved in club championship matches in the 36 hours prior to yesterday's contest.
"In the circumstances, I was well pleased with the way things went. Obviously we would have taken the win, but it was not to be. Armagh are always going to be tough opponents - you are never going to get anything easy against them," said Counihan.
Their midfield ace Nicholas Murphy predicted that, while Armagh are in transition, they will be very difficult opponents in the championship season.
"They have a lot of experience and bulk in their side, and they will be hard to beat. It's always tough in Ulster, of course, and whoever wins the Ulster championship will certainly have earned it," stated Murphy, who has been a pillar of the Cork side for the past 11 years and has had a succession of midfield partners.