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Geezer Frustrated With Self-Destruct

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Geezer Frustrated With Self-Destruct thumbnailKIERAN McGeeney

If earning a point against Sligo was a sucker-punch then Sunday's defeat was a proverbial kick in the jewels as Armagh had victory on a plate but opted to smash it, writes Steve Malone.

For the second time in as many weeks the Orchard men were cruising and starting to find their stride before hitting the self-destruct button. And while the late penalty to Sligo was suspect, it wasn't the man in the middle that turned the game in Laois' favour. It was Armagh that gifted Laois 1-3 by kicking directly into their arms.

And Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney was utterly frustrated. Despite eating Dolly Mixture confectionary as he spoke to the press the Armagh boss was in no mood to sugarcoat his disappointment.

“It is just very disappointing with a five or six point lead it went begging and we should have had the game won at half-time," said McGeeney.

“We were five or six points up and gave them a penalty and lost a player on the back of it and that just seemed to be the beginning of the turn.

“We played pretty well up to that even though we had missed numerous chances."

The former All-Ireland winning captain insisted that any finger pointing should be directed at him.

However, given that Armagh had gone from being three points down to go five in front and coasting, I suggested that it wasn't creditable to be able to legislate his team gifting the opponents 1-3.

“Possibly, but that is where the buck stops, the buck stops with me and I just have to take it on the chin," McGeeney said.

“It is more than disappointing, three open goal chances in the first half and all of them went begging even though there were men on the outside.

“Shots from 13 or 14 metres out - kicked wide, with a wind to our backs and going to a hill. They are quality forwards, they are not poor forwards, so it is annoying and hard to take.

With Sligo beating Tipperary, Louth top Division Three with two wins from two and while Armagh are already at the wrong end of the table, with only pointless Antrim below them, the Orchard manager isn't giving up on the chase for promotion. And McGeeney insisted he was pleased with the majority of play, especially the contribution of substitute Jamie Clarke.

“We have one point out of four when the four was sitting looking at us to take," McGeeney said.

“But we have to go back to drawing board and even though it is not anywhere near over yet, it is still hard to take.

“It is just match practice with Jamie, he did very well when he came on. And in fairness everywhere around the pitch we were pretty decent forbye obviously being stupid in the last five minutes and that is the most important time."

Down manager Eamonn Burns wasn't in much better form as the Mourne men fell by six points to Clare in Ennis.

“It was a disappointing result for us as we had a very strong second half but we couldn't get in to get a goal," said Burns.

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