Saturday’s Ulster semi-final will go down as one of the games of the championship. But unfortunately for the Orchard County, it will also go down as another hard luck story.
Armagh are too far down the road to enjoy morale victories. Kieran McGeeney cut a dejected figure after the final whistle had sounded.
Once again, Geezer watched on helplessly as his side lost out in a classic. Similar to Roscommon in 2018 and Mayo twelve months later.
The Orchardmen turned around a seven-point deficit to take the lead, but couldn’t see the game out and lost out by two in the end.
“I just think we threw it away. We were a wee bit jittery in our defence at the start and it cost us dearly. We were letting boys win the ball out in front, but we solidified that.
I really felt they’d come back, and I told them that at half time. Any of the balls we got upfront, we were scoring”
Geezer was quick to look back at the turnovers Armagh gave Monaghan in those final few minutes.
“I just knew we’d get back into it and we did. We had the possessions; we broke forward four or five times near the end there.
And they had nobody in the defence. And we kicked the ball away, just passed away three and kicked another one away”.
“It’s not the fault of the players. You get excited at times like that, when you’re not used to be in those positions.
If you take the other side of it, Conor (McManus), if you’re able to buy a few free kicks near the end. It’s one thing buying them and it’s another thing putting them over, you have to admire the coolness of the heads”.
“That’s the difference. It’s twice it’s cost us in terms of a wee bit of naivety. I’m very proud of the fellas”.
2021 was a progressive year for Armagh. They returned to Division One for the first time in almost a decade and more importantly, stayed there.
“They’ve shown they can live with almost anybody and just a wee bit of naivety today cost them very dearly.
To be able to give somebody twelve points and they came back, it’s a credit to them. They’re a good bunch of fellas”.
“I couldn’t have asked anything more off them these last two years. They’ve learned what it’s like to be a county team now and they’re giving what they can, or even more that they can.
I thought the whole way through the game, off the front foot, we were very good. We were a wee bit sloppy at the back”.
“I suppose changing keeper and maybe one or two seasoned defenders out, it just leaves you vulnerable. We just got caught defending a particular way and it took us a while to settle that.
In fairness to Monaghan, they put four goals past us, but they were soft”.