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Lennon faces stiff test at Armagh

Armagh manager John Lennon acknowledges that his side face a stiff test in a bid to salvage their pride when they meet Down in the next phase of the Christy Ring Cup.

The somewhat convoluted competition formula means that the Orchard County are still breathing – but only just after defeats to Mayo and Wicklow confirmed to Lennon the task he faces in bringing about a chance in their fortunes.

In the wake of the 3-19 to 3-13 loss to Wicklow, Lennon was frank in his assessment of his team's performance.

"We let them get away from us in the second-half, maybe we were too nice," he observed.

The Orchard County led by 1-8 to 0-8 at half-time and looked to be playing with conviction and purpose. But Wicklow revealed a sharp cutting edge after the break which was best exemplified by Andy O'Brien and Mikey Lee.

When the former grabbed the first of his two goals in the 41st minute, he ensured deadlock at 1-9 each and Wicklow subsequently glided into a four-point lead only for Conor Corvan to raise the hosts' hopes by knocking in their second goal in the 53rd minute.

Two minutes later, O'Brien pounced for his second goal and Declan Coulter converted a penalty in the 66th minute, before a third goal through Lee.

Donegal, meanwhile, continue to carry Ulster hopes in the Nicky Rackard Cup after overpowering Louth by 5-14 to 1-9.

And Fermanagh showed that they are determined to remain in the hunt for the Lory Meagher Cup by drawing 1-18 to 2-15 with Longford.

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