Thursday 26 April 2018

Game at a glance

Man of the match: Jamie Clarke (Armagh): It was a display of real predatory instinct by the corner-forward, who bagged a crucial 2-2 tally to put Armagh through. His new partnership with full-forward Malachy Mackin was hugely effective.

Turning point

Wickow made a thundering start to the second half and were level inside five minutes, but Jamie Clarke's second goal in the 45th minute was a blow they never recovered from.

Talking point

After five memorable seasons, Micko has said his stroll in the Garden is over. But where to now? With Wicklow he has enjoyed a Tommy Murphy Cup success and a Leinster championship win over Kildare at Croke Park; they also dumped Down out of the Championship in 2009. He's 36 years as a senior inter-county manager. Was Aughrim his last battle?

Ref watch

Rory Hickey of Clare had a decent game. He was firm when needed to be and in fairness to the players, for all the pre-match hype about battles, there was no nastiness and they both tried to play attacking football. Wicklow really profited from frees, but Armagh were content to foul further out the field.

What they said

Paddy O'Rourke

(Armagh manager):

"Last week we conceded two goals that we felt we shouldn't have . This week we scored two and last week we missed a couple. If you score two goals and don't concede any you will normally win the game and that's what happened."

Mick O'Dwyer

(Wicklow manager):

"We fought to the very end. We got five frees in the finish and we missed the five of them. Then we went for two goals when points could have been taken as well. Basically that was the only difference between the two teams on the day. They were a little bit sharper than we were. But overall if we had taken our chances ... the frees especially. You cannot afford to miss five frees and win a game."

Match statistics

Wides: Armagh 16 (9); Wicklow 9 (4)

Frees: Armagh 18 (14); Wicklow 27 (10)

Yellow cards: Armagh 3 (P Duffy, F Moriarty, J Hanratty). Wicklow 1 (S Furlong)

Attendance: 6,000

What next?

Armagh meet Tyrone in a third-round qualifier in Omagh next Saturday night. Wicklow's season is over and so, too, it seems is their time spent with Micko at the helm.

Irish Independent

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