GAA Football

Armagh assistant boss Jim McCorry: We can still be more ruthless

Armagh's Stefan Campbell and Fermanagh's James McMahan in action during on Saturday night, with the Orchard men winning by 13 points Picture: Philip Walsh

DESPITE steam-rolling Fermanagh on Saturday night, Armagh assistant manager Jim McCorry wants the Orchard men to be more ruthless in their finishing.

Armagh moved to top of Division Two and are edging closer to a berth in the top flight that has proved elusive during Kieran McGeeney’s reign.

They racked up an impressive 3-14 against hapless Fermanagh – but even defeated manager Ryan McMenamin said afterwards Armagh could have had “six or seven goals”.

While there was so much to admire in Armagh’s play from defence right through to their attack, McCorry quibbled with some of the chances that got away.

Aidan Nugent rattled the crossbar and substitute Ethan Rafferty had a goal chance in the second half – but three-pointers from Jamie Clarke, Aidan Nugent and Aidan Forker sealed a 13-point win.

A win at home to promotion rivals Roscommon on Saturday night (6.30pm) and a draw in their final game away to Clare on March 22 will be enough to see Armagh playing Division One football in 2021.

“I’d like to think we will have that ruthless edge even more when it comes to Championship, because that’s the time when you would need it most,” said McCorry.

“It’s disappointing that we are not putting away all the opportunities and especially goal opportunities.

“Having said that we missed quite a bit; I think we had six wides and five that dropped short, two off the post and there was still a big score-line so we are quite happy to look at the positive side of what we scored.

“[But] We still want to improve on that and reduce the amount of wides we have, but it is still a good ration for the scoring opportunities that we took.”

Armagh are bolstered by the best score difference in the division with Saturday night’s 3-14 haul comparing favourably with the 2-18 and the 2-15 they registered against Cavan and Westmeath, respectively.

Jamie Clarke grabbed Armagh’s first major of the night against Fermanagh after just three minutes, his 21st goal in total for his county. It was the Crossmaglen man’s first start of the year as competition for places hots up in the Orchard attack.

“Jamie is a class player,” McCorry said.

“He was setting up his new business this year and he’d commitments with that. He’d injuries at the start of the year and missed a lot of pre-season, so it was a phased basis for him coming back.

“It was like trying to hold a racehorse back, and even in those conditions you seen his class. And we’ve Andy Murnin coming back over the next couple of weeks as well so he’s going to be a big plus for us.”

Apart from a poor display down in Laois – their only defeat in Division Two this year – and a sticky spell against Westmeath that ended in a draw, Armagh have shown encouraging signs that they could hold their own in Division One.

But McCorry wasn’t taking his eyes off the Roscommon challenge on Saturday evening at The Athletic Grounds.

“Division One is something in the future, and I like to think about the present,” he said.

“There’s no sense in talking about Division One and what we could or couldn’t do in it when we still have Roscommon to beat next week.

“There was no promotion given against Fermanagh, it was an extra two points.”

Jason Duffy, Ethan Rafferty, James Morgan, Greg McCabe and Aaron McKay got game-time from the bench on Saturday night although Clann Eireann young gun Conor Turbitt was unfit to start in Enniskillen due to a knock.

McCorry added: “All the subs that came in acquitted themselves very well, and you take the 20 that were used we were very happy with all the performances.

“We played really badly for the whole of the Laois match. Against Westmeath, we played well for the majority of the game and it was a 15-minute period of madness; it really was a three-minute period of madness when you take two goals and a point within that period of time.

“They showed great heart to come back against Westmeath. And you take the conditions against Fermanagh, we played good football.”

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