Armagh gave a “brave” display on Sunday according to Kieran Donaghy. They got off to a great start as Rory Grugan netted inside ten seconds.
In a move that looked to be straight off the training ground, forwards coach Donaghy didn’t want to take the credit away from Grugan or Rian O’Neill.
“It’s stuff we talk about, testing pulses early, but when you’ve got the quality of the ball from Rian and the hands and the finish from Rory, I don’t think the training ground can take the credit for that.
“I’m delighted for him (Grugan) because he’s a huge leader within that group and he works incredibly hard to get the best out of his players.
“To stick that goal at the start of the game was a real signal of intent from us, even though we wavered afterwards. We probably got a bit giddy, forced a few bits and pieces after the goal looking to kick on and build momentum.
“Donegal showed their expertise at coming down and picking us off with six points. But again, the boys, a huge rally after that, so yeah delighted.”
Although Donegal came back strong, the Orchard didn’t panic and forced their way back into the game. “We got a few vital turnovers.
“I felt our half backs started coming on to the ball really well. Greg McCabe and Jarly Og and I think Rian started getting on ball and pulling strings.
“We got a bit of a press up on a few of their kickouts after frees and we got two turnovers and we should have got two goals off it, got one.
“A team has to generate momentum when it’s not going for you. In fairness to our lads, they worked incredibly hard, they worked back, they got big turnovers. They pressed up on the kickouts and that’s what you get when you’re brave and you go after it like that.
“It wasn’t easy for us because Patton was kicking with that breeze in the first half. Brave by the boys to get up there and push and that’s really how we got back into the game.
“Even a few bad shots before half time, it’s good, we still have a lot to work on for two weeks’ time because you’re coming up now against the cream of the crop.”