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Meath goalkeeper Monica McGuirk. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Meath goalkeeper Monica McGuirk. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Meath goalkeeper Monica McGuirk. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

droghedaindependent

THAT complete performance continues to elude All-Ireland champions Meath as they head into the business end of the TG4 SFC following a share of the spoils with Ulster champions Armagh at Pearse Park, Longford, on Sunday afternoon.

Again Meath struggled to produce the type of display that proved so successful throughout 2021 when winning their maiden title.

There were some wayward passes and far too many turnovers, especially in the opening half when Armagh had the advantage of the breeze and dominated possession. Meath were constantly pinned back by their opponents’ high press and they found it difficult to work the ball from one end of the pitch to the other.

However manager Eamonn Murray believed after this latest outing that his side have the capacity to scale the heights in the knockout stages.

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“That game will bring both teams on a lot, I would think,” Murray remarked afterwards.

“We wanted a display today and I think we got it in patches throughout the game. We have a bit to go yet, but we have three weeks to find our best form and we will probably need every day of that to get to where we need to be.

“We showed flashes of brilliance, but there was some poor stuff mixed in as well. There was a lot of hard graft from the players, but they are still not flying on all cylinders. We were turned over 14 times in the first half, so that will not be good enough.

“It wasn’t looking good for us at that stage. Armagh played the same type of football against the wind as with it and it worked very well for them. Aimee Mackin was outstanding and she caused us plenty of problems.

“Meath never gave up, however, and we did play much better in the second half and we got our reward at the end.

“It is knockout from now on and it is going to be tough and also exciting. A lot of players will have to improve, but I think they will improve. They know themselves.

“The next game is in three weeks’ time against either Galway or Kerry. There would be very little between those two teams.”

Murray was thankful ’keeper Monica McGuirk was again at her best to keep Meath in the game.

“Monica was brilliant. We are blessed to have her. She is still the number one in the country by a mile. She really saved us today.

“Both teams had chances of goals, but overall we will take the draw and I’d say Armagh will be happy enough as well with the outcome.”


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