Trudging off the Breffni Park turf last November, it’s hard to believe that Kieran McGeeney would be disappointed with a draw against Donegal six months later.
The 2002 All-Ireland winning captain saw his side dominate for long periods last Saturday, but just couldn’t finish the game out.
While Armagh would have been upset not to clinch the two points on offer, Geezer was immensely proud of their efforts.
“It’s disappointing. It’s funny with the draw you get disappointed, but it was just one of those things. We didn’t get the kick outs; I suppose was a big part of it, especially in the last quarter. I think we gave away three scores of our last five kick outs.
I couldn’t ask for anymore, they gave it everything. You had two well decimated teams, I think we’d nearly our whole defence missing from last year, and they went out and played with their heart on their sleeve.
It was a good performance, again just those simple things are killing us”.
Small margins denied Armagh the chance to secure their division one status, and they will regret not taking some of their scoring chances.
The one that stands out is the Conor Turbitt effort that bounced off the post which would have put Armagh two ahead and halted Donegal’s momentum near the end of the game.
“It was the same against Tyrone. We had the game in our grasp, missing a few simple things like Turbo’s (shot) coming off the post.
They (Donegal) were getting their scores from distance when we were missing simple ones, but I’m still very proud of the fellas”.
“As I say, they gave me everything considering the range of injuries, and I suppose Donegal could say the same.
When you’re putting out players there that haven’t played in a while or ever and they give you their lot, you can’t ask for much more”.
Many Armagh supporters, both in the grounds and those who enjoyed the game from the comfort of their own home, will be happy with what they saw.
As was Kieran McGeeney, but he knows this was a massive chance missed as his side will now have to rely on a relegation play-off win to remain in the top tier.
“It’s staying up, that’s the big thing for us. We actually had our hearts set on getting to the semi-finals. We have a relegation play-off now and we’ll see where that goes.
You’re playing against what we’re being told are the third and fourth best teams out there at the minute and we’re definitely showing we can still live with that, if not more. We just have to learn to tidy up those small mistakes”.
“We’ve been pushing hard to get the right thing going over the last few years and we’re there, but it’s winning battles like this. I said at the beginning of the year, we have to learn to do.
As the steaks go up you have to be able to make those split decisions a wee bit better. We’re getting there, I just hope that the boys can do themselves justice in the next two or three games.
I don’t think we’re hitting anywhere over 60% yet. I think there’s a lot more in these fellas. They’re young, they’re keen, and they’re very physically fit and strong. I’d love to see them cut loose some day and hopefully we’ll see that before the end of the summer”.