Five things to take from Armagh’s win over Derry


Armagh have developed leaders all over the pitch and that was evident once again on Sunday when they edged past Derry.

Rory Grugan really brought the fight to the hosts in the opening period while his clubmate Ryan Kennedy was superb against Shane McGuigan.

While Rian O’Neill didn’t score from play, he held his nerve to kick some crucial points when his side really needed scores.

Niall Grimley was introduced to shore up the middle of the field and did so excellently, winning three kick outs in a row.

A criticism of this Armagh side has been their inability to see out games, but the leaders really stood up to get them over the line.

Attacking half back line

Aidan Forker has been a real driving force in the orange and white for a number of years now and he still inspires those around him.

Forker, who wore six on Sunday, along with his two wing half backs Conor O’Neill and Mark Shields got on the scoresheet.

The Maghery man raided forward to kick two points and outscore Niall Loughlin, his marker and one of Derry’s best forwards, from play.

O’Neill made his Championship debut on Sunday hit a rocket of a score in the first half while Shields is no stranger to getting on the score sheet.

Interestingly, all three of these players have played in the forwards for their clubs, so it’s no surprise they are so comfortable taking shooting.

Back to back wins

The last time Armagh secured back to back wins in league or championship was during their qualifier run of 2018.

This year’s league campaign showed the inconsistent streak in the team, as every good performance was met with a poor showing.

Listen back to our review show as we reflect on Armagh’s win over Derry!

Wins over Cavan, Kildare, Fermanagh and Clare sandwiched poor results against Laois, Westmeath and Roscommon.

Armagh were able to prove their doubters wrong on Sunday however and secured an important two wins in a row.


It has been used as a stick to beat Armagh with for a while now and once again Armagh’s discipline came into question at the weekend.

The obvious incident was Jamie Clarke’s black card, picked up with about 20 minutes of the game remaining.

Armagh held on brilliantly during this period, but the black card could have really cost Armagh against better opposition.

Defensively, Armagh conceded 15 points, 11 of which came from free kicks, although some of the frees called were harsh.

This is an issue Kieran McGeeney will want to address as Donegal hold some lethal dead ball specialists in Ciaran Thompson and Michael Murphy.

Attacking quality

When it comes to attacking quality, Armagh have it in abundance and several players on the team who can take a score.

Rory Grugan and Jamie Clarke were in exceptional form on Sunday past and both raised three white flags each.

Stefan Campbell and Rian O’Neill were both held scoreless from play but still offer huge attacking threats to opposition defences.

Andrew Murnin, Conor Turbitt, Jason Duffy and Jemar Hall saw no game time at the weekend but are still brilliant options from the bench.

If Armagh are to go any further in the competition, it will take all their attacking quality to get them over the line.