GAA Football

Armagh ratings: Grugan stands out a mile for the Orchard

Rory Grugan was the standout performer for Armagh on Sunday. Picture by Seamus Loughran

Blaine Hughes: Big save to deny Ruairi McCann with his outstretched boot just before half-time. Armagh won all but one of his kickouts. 7.5

James Morgan: Ryan Murray’s superb second half score was the only one he took off Morgan from open play, although he conceded an early pointed free too. There were occasional moments of worry for the Crossmaglen man. 6

Ross Finn: Handed arguably the toughest man-marking job on the elusive Odhran Eastwood. Kept his man scoreless but didn’t win much of the ball between them. 6

Greg McCabe: Operated largely as the free man for Armagh and expended serious energy, particularly in the second half when he started to punch holes with his running. 7

Connaire Mackin: Was troubled in parts by Conor Murray without ever being over-run in the battle, which tilted the Armagh man’s way the longer the game went on. 6

Ciaron O’Hanlon: Played a lot of the game in a very narrow position that gave Paddy McBride a lot of space in which to operate out wide, which Antrim used as an outlet all too often. 5.5

Aaron McKay: Will be fairly pleased with his day’s work, limiting Ruairi McCann’s influence anywhere near the Armagh goal, although the Creggan man did have more joy in a deeper berth in the second half. 6.5

Niall Grimley: A quiet day for the Madden man. Was secondary in the aerial exchanges as both ‘keepers avoided him and Stewart, giving him little chance to influence. 5.5

Oisin O’Neill: Niall McKeever had the better of the first quarter but as the game wore on, O’Neill’s class shone through. Had a big hand in the second half, and covered serious ground. 7

Jemar Hall: The Denis Irwin of Armagh, rarely anything less than a 7 beside his name in this column. Won breaks, turnovers, ran at Antrim, did everything bar score, and did it all at a pace that brought others with him. 7.5

Rian O’Neill: A few magical moments, not least the late raking ball for Paddy Burns’ score, but was in the main superbly marshalled by James Laverty and got little joy at full-forward. 7

Jarlath Óg Burns: Did a very diligent job down the wing, tracking the threat of Marc Jordan’s runs which weren’t really a feature in the game. His win was a big win for Armagh. 7.5

STAR MAN: Rory Grugan: A class operator, his movement bamboozled Peter Healy for the first goal. Alertness to win the penalty. Couple of lovely points. Worked like a dog. 8.5

Andy Murnin: Forced his way into the team but the plan of hitting him, and briefly Jarlath Óg Burns, with high bombs didn’t pay off at all. Got no change from Ricky Johnston, replaced at half-time. 5

Stefan Campbell: A few good moments in attack, not least the ball for Grugan’s goal, but had a hard time all day with the running of Eoghan McCabe taking him the other way. 6

Conor Turbitt:
Not an enormous pile of involvement but clinical with what he did have, scoring 1-1. 6.5

Tiernan Kelly: Took his goal well at the death. 6.5

Conor O’Neill: Solid late shift in defence. 6

Paddy Burns: Took a late mark to point. 6

Brendan Donaghy: Handy number as the free man in the last ten. 6

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GAA Football