Armagh can hang to Division 2A status says in-form forward Cahal Carvill
CAHAL Carvill's personal haul of 2-2 wasn't enough to hold off Antrim last Sunday, but the hard-working forward insists that Armagh deserve to stay in Division 2A after a series of near-misses.
Carvill's second goal came after 50 minutes and when he cracked over his second point a minute or so later, the Orchardmen were ahead with a platform to kick on and win the game.
But it was the Glensmen – led by substitute Deaghlan Murphy's seven points – who found an extra gear to move top of the table and leave Armagh second-from-bottom on one point, above London on scoring average.
Armagh's final game is away to unbeaten Carlow on March 26 while London meet third-placed Kildare and Carvill is confident the Orchardmen can do enough to survive in a very competitive division.
“We were disappointed not to get the win against London and also Kildare (three point loss) in the first game, we should have won it,” he said.
“We believe there's a lot of talented hurlers in Armagh and we can compete at this level because this is where we want to be.”
A haul of 2-2 was cold comfort for the Middletown clubman who also won two of the five frees his cousin David stroked over the Antrim crossbar.
“Personal performances don't really matter and to be honest I'm absolutely gutted coming off the field,” said Carvill on Sunday.
“I came here with the belief that we would beat Antrim.
“There were a few decisions that didn't go for us and maybe we switched off a wee bit and a couple of men got hurt and at this level you get punished for mistakes.
“I'm still proud of the boys and the performance but it was one of those days and I think Antrim's experience got them over the line.”
While Murphy and debutant James McNaughton made a massive difference for the Glensmen, Carvill says Armagh's squad has also developed this season.
“It's a 20-man game at this stage,” he said.
“We've got a lot of strong boys on the bench and they can add to our team and make us even stronger. They're pushing for places all the time. I was disappointed we didn't get the two points but we'll take a lot of heart that we can compete at this level.”
In the end Antrim won by seven points, but Armagh's performance illustrated how the gap has closed between them and the traditional aristocrats of the caman code in Ulster in recent years.
“It just seemed that the ball wasn't breaking for us but maybe we should have worked a wee bit harder but it's hard to turn it around when a team's on top,” said Carvill.
“We got the goal in the second half and our tails' were up. I got the point after the goal and it looked like we were going to take it but they were streetwise I suppose and they got a few scores.
“It was hard to get it back from there but I'm still very proud of the team and I'm proud to be involved in Armagh hurling. If you had said five or six years ago that this is the level we would be at nobody would have believed you.
“I said at the start of the year that we're the second team in Ulster and I think our display justified that.”