Alive and well!
An enthralling end to end contest that served up 33 scores. Both sets of forwards revel in the open spaces, and neither team adopts anything that even resembles a sweeper system...
Monday, 11 June 2012
Both teams try to outscore each other to win, and marquee forwards on either side dazzle us with their exciting skills and superlative finishing.
Surely, I cannot be talking about an Ulster Championship game, never mind a match between great rivals Tyrone and Armagh!
On Sunday's evidence, our provincial championship is alive and well and another reminder to the critics out there, that when it comes together there is nothing to compare to the intensity and excitement that it can bring.
If you remember last week I cited an over-reliance on Jamie Clarke as a weakness that may be the Orchard County's undoing in this tie.
The Crossmaglen man was unmarkable, but with the exception of Forker's goal and a couple of scores from impressive substitute Gavin McParland, he lacked the support.
You may wonder too, what difference Stevie McDonnell may have made to the Armagh cause.
Tyrone on the other hand had a greater range of scoring options. Steven O'Neill was as equally effective for the Red Hands as Clarke was for Armagh, but the difference being he had more scoring ability around him.
Armagh will rue the sending off of Kevin Dyas but in fairness they dominated the game for the next ten minutes pulling it level, and only for some poor decision making and overzealous route one passing into big John Kingham, they may have found themselves in a position to see the game out.
After a humiliating defeat to Westmeath in the Leinster Championship, Antrim hurling hit new depths of depression during the week with the resignation of manager Jerry Wallace.
With two of his backroom staff already jumping ship in the last few weeks, he made a sorry attempt to demonstrate his loyalty to his players by telling the press that he had contacted panellists on The Sunday Game to ask them to play down the seriousness of events in the game in Mullingar.
In trying to gain the adornment of his players he completely compromised his position by putting his credibility into question.
To make matters worse, RTÉ issued a statement to rubbish the claims and ultimately this left Wallace no option but to tenure his resignation.
The Cork man came into the post with a great reputation, particularly as a coach. But the last few weeks is a stark reminder that good coaches don't necessarily make good managers and an ability to handle the 'meeja' is an important component to the Inter-County game.