New-look Armagh show their promise
Impressive scoring display by Paul Grimley’s young side too much for wasteful Laois
Armagh’s Brian Mallon with Laois’s Paul Kingston at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh. Photo: Jonaathan Porter/Inpho Armagh’s Brian Mallon with Laois’s Paul Kingston at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh. Photo: Jonaathan Porter/Inpho
Manager Paul Grimley has embraced Armagh’s spirited renaissance with caution as he now contemplates “difficult tests” against Monaghan and Donegal in particular following this comprehensive victory over a committed but singularly wasteful Laois side.
“We have five points now but we are a work in progress.
“Much more difficult tests lie ahead and it’s how we face into those that will fashion our future,” maintains Grimley.
His fledgling outfit, bereft of a raft of experience through injuries, slipped into top gear in the second half having been 0-12 to 1-6 ahead at the interval to ultimately glide to an emphatic victory.
If the combined scoring prowess of Stefan Campbell and Tony Kernan helped to keep Armagh in the driving seat, then John O’Loughlin’s goal buttressed the visitors’ endeavour. But Laois’s second-half profligacy coupled with defensive frailties were to prove their downfall.
A Campbell goal in the 52nd minute triggered a swashbuckling gallop down the home straight by the hosts, their dominance further emphasised by points from Kernan, Ethan Rafferty and substitute Eugene McVerry.
Donie Kingston’s five points and a brace each from Ross Munnelly and Gary Walsh had helped to sustain Tomás Ó Flatharta’s side but Armagh’s fitness, towering work-rate and new-found pride took them to back-to-back league wins for the first time in four years.