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McCorry: Armagh have a lot more work to do before facing Mayo

Monaghan 1-12 Armagh 2-17

Orange crush: Armagh’s Rian O’Neill celebrates one of his goals
Orange crush: Armagh’s Rian O’Neill celebrates one of his goals

By Steve Malone

Armagh assistant manager Jim McCorry felt Saturday's win over Monaghan was good for the Orchard's hearts but he wasn't getting too carried away with Mayo to come in round three.

The result was a blow for last year's All-Ireland semi-finalists and after seven years at the helm, which included two Ulster titles, Malachy O'Rourke decided it was time for him to step down as Monaghan boss.

"To be honest I didn't really want anyone twisting my arm and you get a feeling yourself and I just felt that it was the best things for the boys and that is what it is all about," said O'Rourke.

"We had a great time together and just think it is the right time for the players. They are still in the first division and there is a lot of young talent coming through and a lot of experience still there, so I think just a fresh voice is what they will need and hopefully it is and I will let someone else take over the mantle."

Armagh had 13 different scorers in Saturday's All-Ireland qualifier win in Clones and having given their best performance of the season, they will go to Mayo in the round three in confident mood.

"It was very good, we were good in other games, but only in patches, whereas this one we were good probably throughout the whole lot of it," said McCorry.

"It was heartening because we see that in training every day and the players know themselves that we let ourselves down in a couple of games this year.

"It was heartening that they have played well but really it's only in the qualifiers. It is important to put it into perspective, it is great the way we played and it is great to beat Monaghan away from home but there is a lot more work to be done before the next round."

Armagh led 0-11 to 0-10 at the break in what was an enthralling, aggressive and open end-to-end contest.

The sides were level on six different occasions in the first half but it was Kieran McGeeney's Armagh that owned the second half.

Conor McManus finished Monaghan's top scorer with five frees, while Kieran Hughes, keeper Rory Beegan, Conor McCarthy and Micheal Bannigan also chipped in with points and Jack McCarron grabbed a late deflected goal.

Crossmaglen's Rian O'Neill led Armagh's scoring stakes with 2-1 from play, while 12 of his team-mates who started also got on the scoresheet and the shooting was much improved from the misfiring defeat to Cavan in the Ulster Championship semi-final replay, which underlined their attacking tactics.

"The players have known that that is the type of performance that they have in him," said McCorry.

"The supporters have seen some of the games that we have played and they'll say, 'what they are doing in training, why are they not focusing on shooting?'

"But our scoring ratio was really high compared to previous games. Even though we scored high in other games we missed a lot, but today we didn't miss as much and we see that in training as well."

ARMAGH: B Hughes, M Shields (0-1), P Burns, P Hughes (0-1), A Forker (0-1), B Donaghy (0-1), J Og Burns (0-2), A McKay, N Grimley (0-1) A Nugent (0-1), S Campbell (0-1), J Hall (0-2), J Clarke (0-3, 2f), R O'Neill (2-1), A Murnin (0-1)

Subs: R Grugan for Murnin (39'), C Vernon (0-1) for Grimley (67'), J Duffy for Nugent (71'), J McIlroy for Burns (74').

MONAGHAN: R Beggan (0-2, 0-2 x 45'), K Duffy, C Boyle, R Willie, K O'Connell, V Corey, D Ward (0-1), N Kearns, K Hughes (0-1), F Kelly, J McCarron (1-1), M Bannigan (0-1), R McAnespie, C McCarthy (0-1), C McManus (0-5, 4f).

Subs: D Wylie for Duffy (black card, 43'), D Moan for McCarthy (49'), S O'Hanlon for Bannigan (51'), S Carey for McAnespie (54'), B McGinn for Hughes (59').

Referee: Ciaran Branagan (Down)

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