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Close finishes to vital games are bad for the heart, claims Armagh skipper

 

Tough talk: Armagh captain Rory Grugan tells it as it is
Tough talk: Armagh captain Rory Grugan tells it as it is
John Campbell

By John Campbell

Armagh skipper Rory Grugan believes that on occasions his side can get themselves into positions which "are not good for the heart", as he puts it.

They lived dangerously in the closing minutes before securing victory over Fermanagh at the weekend and now Grugan is hoping his side can plot a more straightforward route to victory over Cork on Sunday.

"I think there were about seven blocks made towards the end of the game against Fermanagh and that's not good for the heart," sighs Grugan.

"After losing to Donegal we found ourselves in a real battle against relegation and to be honest when we went in against Fermanagh it was do or die. It was great to get the two points and while that has brought us safety in Division Two we have to try and push on from there. Cork badly need the points but we want to keep our own momentum going."

Grugan acknowledges that Armagh were not as convincing in earlier matches in the league as they should have been.

"We let a few points slip away but we are where we are now. We're just glad to have consolidated our position in Division Two. In previous years we might not have finished the league too well which can leave you on a bit of a downer going into the Ulster Championship, so the target now will be to conclude our league programme on an encouraging note by getting a win over Cork," stresses schoolteacher Grugan.

And he admits that the team still have work to do if they hope to become a stronger force.

"I would not have been overly happy with the way in which we played against Fermanagh. We allowed them to have a period of dominance during which they got back on level terms with us but we got on top in the second-half. I think by all accounts Cork might be setting up in a similar fashion to Fermanagh this weekend so we have to be prepared for that," states Grugan.

"The focus now is on getting as many league points as we can to give us a lift going into the championship. I think we can take lessons from last weekend's game into this tie against Cork and if we do then that will certainly help us in our championship build-up."

The recent return to action of Ethan Rafferty, who scored Armagh's goal against Fermanagh after coming off the bench, coupled with the majestic form of Brendan Donaghy and the huge potential of the emerging Jarlath Og Burns are considerable plus-factors as the side steel themselves for Cork's visit to the Athletic Grounds.

"At least we are at home but we cannot feel complacent about that in the least," adds Grugan.

"Cork will be smarting after that loss to Donegal and they badly need the points so they will certainly be pushing the boat out, I am sure of that."

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