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Powerful McGraynor could be a tall order for Armagh

By John Campbell

Published 23/06/2015

Giant task: Conor McGraynor’s height will pose a problem
Giant task: Conor McGraynor’s height will pose a problem

Armagh are facing a dual threat as they strive to gain some measure of credibility following their depressing performance against Donegal in the recent Ulster Championship quarter-final.

Kieran McGeeney's team must not only confront a hungry Wicklow side in Saturday's All-Ireland first round qualifier but they will also come up against a 6ft 5in giant who is currently proving the ace in their opponents' pack.

When the Garden County lost to Meath in the Leinster Championship earlier this month, it was the powerfully-built Conor McGraynor who almost single-handedly kept his side in touch up until the final whistle.

And to add to the danger that McGraynor can pose to the Orchard County, it is worth recalling that he had a lucrative outing at the Athletic Grounds earlier in the year when he lined up for Dublin City University against St Mary's University College in the Ryan Cup.

But it was in the tie against Meath that McGraynor showed his value to Wicklow when he converted two penalties to keep his side very much in the game.

Indeed, the fact that Wicklow recorded an impressive 3-12 in that contest against Meath's winning tally of 2-19 is even more food for thought for McGeeney.

Certainly, Wicklow selector PJ Cunningham puts McGraynor's value to the team in perspective.

"We lost a raft of players last year - experienced people like Leighton Glynn, James Stafford, Rory Finn and Paul Earles among them - and it's important that others step up to the mark," said Cunningham.

"Conor McGraynor, along with Dean Healy and Darren Hayden, are key players for Wicklow now. We are essentially a young team and to be going up to face Armagh is a huge challenge for us.

"They will be hurting following their beating by Donegal."

McGraynor's ability to play at midfield or full-forward, Healy's influence as skipper and Hayden's industry and finishing skills at wing-forward should ensure that the Armagh defenders are kept on their toes.

Orchard County spokesman Sean Ó Maoilsté said: "Obviously this is a very important game for us and the hope is that we can find our feet again after what happened against Donegal.

"When you look at how well Wicklow did against Meath, it shows you just how much they have improved."

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