Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

McGrane can't wait to take on Meath

Armagh captain Paul McGrane had perhaps more reason than most to feel disappointed when his team's scheduled fixture against Dublin was called off at the 11th hour on Sunday.

McGrane was due to line out for the first time after serving a month-long suspension, having been named in the half-forward division rather than his customary midfield role.

But the Ballyhegan clubman will get the chance to make up for lost time when Armagh travel to face Meath at Navan on Saturday (7pm).

Pairc Tailteann has never been the happiest of hunting grounds for Armagh and with Meath still clinging to an outside hope of promotion, they will be particularly keen to atone for last Sunday's lapse against Monaghan.

A win at Scotstown would have thrust the Royals up into second place - instead, manager Colm Coyle can still focus on relegation while at the same time taking cognisance of the fact that relegation could yet become a reality.

Coyle has already hammered home the message that a "huge improvement" is required against Armagh.

"Last Sunday we seemed to step back and allow Monaghan to play. We can't afford to do that again," observed Coyle.

Stephen Bray, Joe Sheridan and Cian Ward formed an effective full-forward line for Meath, though, and this unit will form a big threat to Armagh's hopes of securing their Division One future.

Orchard boss Peter McDonnell recognises the game against Meath and those looming against Dublin and Cork are "absolutely crucial".

"The pressure is on all sides. They are looking to the future and there is no margin for error or for complacency. Obviously we were disappointed that last Sunday's game was ruled out - I've seen matches played in worse conditions - but we must now go with what is in front of us," he said.

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