McConville describes worst defeats

Few in the country have tasted success quite like Oisin McConville, and he has the medal haul to back it up.

The 2002 All-Ireland final Man of the Match won seven Ulster titles, one All-Ireland, one national league and two All-Stars for Armagh.

At club level, the attacking ace won 16 county titles, 10 ulster club crowns and 6 All-Irelands.

Some of the defeats suffered along the way still wrangle with the Crossmaglen hero.

Speaking on the subject of dealing with defeat on ‘The GAA Social’, McConville described his worse loses.

“There’s a lot of them to be honest. We played Kerry in 2000, we went to a replay. I had a goal chance right at the end of the game and hit it straight against (Declan) O’Keeffe.

That was probably the one that keeps me awake at night. That chance, that opportunity”.

The 2003 All-Ireland final defeat to rivals Tyrone is one that stands out as well. “We didn’t turn up and we still could have won the game.

The Tyrone defeat was rank because there was a serious competition between those two teams. A rivalry, a hatred probably. As far as dealing with it (defeat) it’s impossible”.

Heartbreak followed in 2004, as Fermanagh caused the upset of the year in the All-Ireland quarter final.

“Fermanagh in ’04 was our fault. That was complacency. As much as Fermanagh people hate hearing that, Fermanagh won the game fair and square alright, but it was pure complacency on our part”.

“I was injured going into that game. Joe had come to me before the quarter final and said ‘Listen, another week or two will do you no harm whatsoever. Just sit this one out and you’ll be back for the semi-final’.

15 minutes to go, he called me down and I was straight on. First ball I got, got a score and I thought ‘we’ll just take over now, we’ll run the show’.

It wasn’t (business as usual) it was just pure complacency on our part. They’re more sickening because you’re trying to guard against all that stuff”.

An All-Star in 2000 and 2002, the Armagh legend insists the Orchard County played better football in 2004 than they did when they lifted the Sam Maguire.

“That was a sin that we were beat that day. That was the best football we were playing. ’04, we were absolutely jumping out of our skin. Way better than ’02.

From about ’04 we started to mind the ball a bit better, and that was the best we were playing and that was why it was so sickening.

And it was a handy enough All-Ireland to win that we threw away”.