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Grimley's plan took bite out of Ulster rivals

By Ryan McMenamin

There is no doubt that the better side on the day won at Healy Park yesterday afternoon and but for the heroics of Niall Morgan, things could have been a whole lot worse for Tyrone.

He made three outstanding saves to keep them in the game while at the other end of the field Armagh keeper Philip McEvoy wasn't tested.

Armagh showed their intent in the very first minute when that mass brawl broke out and that was them laying down a marker that they weren't coming to Omagh to be walked all over.

It set Paul Grimley's men up for the rest of the afternoon and it proved costly to Tyrone with Mattie Donnelly getting an early yellow card and of course they then lost him just before the break.

It wasn't just the defeat but it was the manner in which Colm Cavanagh and co lost as much as anything that will annoy Tyrone most.

There appeared to be no bite or drive in their play, two things that you require in championship football and two credentials that are almost a given when speaking about Tyrone.

They looked a tired, jaded team whereas Armagh were full of life despite that being their third championship game in as many weeks.

The fact that Tyrone managed just two points from play, one at the beginning of each half, tells its own story on a day when they were completely bossed by the Armagh defence.

Credit has to go to Armagh as they came with a game plan and they executed it brilliantly and they will be delighted with the way things worked out.

They got the ball into their forward line a lot quicker than Tyrone and they also seemed to have more space than the home side.

For Tyrone, the problems they have had all season were there to see again as their half forward line once again struggled to get any meaningful ball.

Armagh were up for it more and were the hungrier of the two sides and that is basically why they won the game.

While Tyrone perhaps had better individuals, Armagh worked harder for each other and that was key.

Going forward Armagh will take a lot out of this game and there is no doubt that they won't fear anybody in the next round after winning in Omagh and I can see them reach the All-Ireland quarter-finals.

Tyrone on the other hand have a lot of questions to ask themselves and a couple of players could well call it a day.

Down are another side who will be bitterly disappointed after their display against Kildare. Once again, despite having the talent, Down are out of the championship early and I feel that manager James McCartan has perhaps taken them as far as he can.

Cavan suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Roscommon on Saturday evening and they haven't taken the step forward I thought they would.

After winning a fourth Ulster U-21 title in a row they would have been hoping to at least match last season's quarter final but this will be a setback for them.

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