Friday 24 November 2017

Five talking points from Tyrone's trouncing of Armagh

Peter Harte of Tyrone during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final match between Tyrone and Armagh at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Peter Harte of Tyrone during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Quarter-Final match between Tyrone and Armagh at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Sean McGoldrick

Peter Harte ran the show for Tyrone as they advanced to the last four of the All Ireland football championship.

1: Tyrone in a different league

There is a significant gulf in standards between Division 1 and Division 3 teams.

Tyrone weren't flattered by the 18 point margin they fashioned over their next door neighbours. Don't forget Armagh who failed to secure promotion from Division 3 this season when they conceded a late goal in their last game in the competition against Tipperary.

In fairness to Kieran McGeeney's side, they were facing one of the top three teams in the country as Tyrone has aspirations of reaching their first All-Ireland final since 2008. Armagh are simply not in that league at the moment.

2: Tyrone's forwards do the business

Even though the Tyrone forwards have often been criticised, they couldn't be faulted for this effort.

They hit 3-17 with ten different scorers. Curiously, though, none of their starting forwards scored a goal - a pattern which has been ongoing all season. Substitute David Mulgrew hit a brace while Peter Harte converted a penalty.

3: Peter the Great

Teams with aspirations of beating Tyrone will have to deal with the influence of Peter Harte who has emerged as arguably their most influential player.

He was marked by Armagh's James Morgan for periods of today's game but he never really got to trips with Harte's runs both on and off the ball.

4: Niall Morgan a key man

The ability of Tyrone to win Niall Morgan's long kick-outs gives them an extra option. They were unlucky not to get through for a goal from one of Morgan's long re-starts when Peter Harte raced through and linked up with Declan McClure who opted for a point but could have gone for the jugular.

5: Armagh a long way off

Armagh have a long journey to travel before they can realistically challenge for championship silverware.

Granted they achieved some momentum in the qualifiers with wins over Fermanagh, Tipperary and most notable Kildare. But they're not ready to mix it with the big boys yet.

Kieran McGeeney knows that this is a long-term project and his side have to move up the Divisions if they are to have a chance against the top sides in the championship. It will take them a minimum of two seasons to get back into the top flight but while the progress they made in recent weeks will encourage them, they have a long, long journey ahead.

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