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McGeeney frustrated again by sloppy play

By John Campbell

Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney cut a disconsolate figure in the aftermath of their All-Ireland Qualifier demise.

A season that held rich promise which had been triggered by last year's rousing quarter-final display against Donegal and promotion to Division Two earlier this term lay in ruins as the 2002 All-Ireland winning captain took stock of a seismic shock to the Orchard County system.

Frustration and annoyance were clearly etched in his face as, not for the first time this year, he pinpointed the flaws which he felt brought the curtain down on his team’s truncated campaign.

"I've said before that we needed to be getting more than 12 or 13 points if we hoped to win championship matches, we again conceded a sloppy goal and we gave the ball away too much," said McGeeney.

While the Armagh boss stopped short of criticising referee David Gough, he was clearly disappointed by the manner in which Galway's goal arrived.

"I know the free which Paul Conroy took from which the goal came was moved forward, but to my mind it looked as if it had been moved up by about 25 yards," said McGeeney.

"We were playing a game of half-rules, it seemed."

He played down a confrontation with Galway player Gary Sice in the closing stages.

The pair exchanged words close to the touchline but McGeeney disclosed that they shook hands after the game.

"Gary is a very good player and a gentleman," he said.

While Armagh’s elimination stunned their huge army of fans, McGeeney believes the experience of playing in Division Two next year will benefit his side.

"We will be moving up to be playing against sides like Tyrone and Galway and this should help the team. We have learned this year that you have to take your chances. We had opportunities in this game against Galway and didn't take them," he added.

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