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McCormack Armagh hurling team show way forward for footballers

By Micheal McGeary

Armagh dual star Paul McCormack is backing the footballers to overcome Fermanagh in Sunday’s All Ireland football qualifier at Brewster Park.

Armagh’s victory over London in the Nicky Rackard final in Croke Park by a single point, saw the Keady teacher join a select band of players who have won both All Ireland and football hurling medals.

McCormack was a valued member of Armagh’s 2002 All Ireland winning side, but later opted out to concentrate on hurling and it’s a move he never once regretted.

He was as proud as punch when he eventually got to lift the Nicky Rackard Cup above his head in Croke Park on Saturday evening and it was tangible proof of the progress Armagh hurling is enjoying just now.

“Our minors did so well to reach the Ulster decider this year and it was important that we won the Rackard Cup which represents another step forward,” he said.

“The priority must be that we move on from here as there can be no grounds for complacency in the future.”

A teacher in St Patrick’s College Armagh, he can now look forward to the summer holidays and reflect on on a job well done, a captain who leads by example on and off the pitch.

Armagh’s Rackard Cup success was a moment to savour too for Paul’s father Jim, no mean dual player himself in the 70s and 80s, both with club and county.

Armagh corner forward Paul Breen whose two opportunist goals provided the catalyst for Armagh’s Rackard Cup success also landed the winning point in added time.

“We were here in 2007 and came off second best and it was always our goal to return and put the record straight,” he said.

“It was touch and go until the very end and when the sides were level it really was anyone’s game.

“You can imagine how delighted I was to get the winning score and seal the victory.

“It was one of those days when it didn’t matter who got the goals or points.

“This has been a huge team effort from start to finish, both in terms of players and management alike.

“For once we got the breaks that mattered and that made all the difference.”

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