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Armagh simply terrible: McGeeney

Laois 0-16 Armagh 0-10


No joy: Armagh’s Jamie Clarke was unable to turn the tables

No joy: Armagh’s Jamie Clarke was unable to turn the tables

�INPHO/Tommy Dickson

No joy: Armagh’s Jamie Clarke was unable to turn the tables

Kieran McGeeney was dismayed by Armagh's poor performance as they failed to build on their impressive league opener against Cavan, with a forgettable display ending in a six-point defeat to Laois at MW Hire O'Moore Park in Portlaoise on Saturday night.

The large travelling support witnessed a disappointing affair from an Armagh perspective, as Laois never trailed in this game and were deserved winners.

McGeeney's charges just weren't at the races and squandered a number of scoreable chances, which could have seen them in contention for back-to-back wins if they had been that bit more clinical.

McGeeney was brutally honest in his assessment of the game afterwards.

"They didn't play well. We were poor from start to finish," he said.

"We ran into trouble, gave the ball away, poor shots from play, and poor shot selection, poor passes, handpasses, on the ground - you could go through the whole list.

"We have been good from the last 10 or 11 games we have played - from the end of last year, right through the McKenna Cup and into the league.

"We played well and we scored well.

"We were just poor, but I suppose that's where the buck stops with me.

"Obviously whatever I was doing during the week didn't work. It's annoying because they are a lot better than that.

"They just fell into a lot of traps and got caught doing a lot of silly stuff. It's a poor display."

Both sides opened relatively well as Evan O'Carroll and Rian O'Neill traded scores by the seventh minute.

However, there were plenty of errors in front of the posts, with Laois claiming five wides by the 20th minute and Armagh equalling that tally six minutes later.

The relatively youthful Laois side were impressive though, and with scores from Michael Keogh, Mark Barry, O'Carroll, Kieran Lillis and Mark Timmons they took a deserved 0-8 to 0-2 interval lead.

Laois extended that advantage to seven points early after the restart, but Armagh quickly cut it to a three-point margin with Conor Turbitt and O'Neill (3) on target.

The hosts led by 0-12 to 0-8 entering the final quarter but they were down to 14 men after Eoin Lowry picked up a black card.

Armagh needed something to work the game back in their favour and they introduced Crossmaglen's Jamie Clarke in a bid to stem the tide with 10 minutes of normal time remaining.

Clarke did manage two points (both from placed balls), but Laois stood firm.

With the likes of defender Brian Byrne popping up from the back and taking a score, they looked solid.

Laois lost defender Robbie Pigott to a second yellow card at the start of injury-time, but they held on for victory.

Scorers: Laois: M Barry (6f) 0-7; E O'Carroll (3f) 0-5; M Keogh, B Byrne, M Timmons, K Lillis 0-1 each.

Armagh: R O'Neill (3f, 1 45) 0-5; J Clarke (2f) 0-2; C Turbitt, J Óg Burns, N Grimley 0-1 each.

Belfast Telegraph