Closing out late leads is 'the final piece of the jigsaw' for Armagh says Kieran McGeeney following Division 2 final loss

Allianz Football League Division 2 Final: Armagh 0-14 Donegal 0-15
Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney.Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney.
Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney.

Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney says that the team must learn how to close out leads in close games following their Division 2 final loss to Donegal this afternoon.

The Orchard County fought their way back from four points down to lead 0-13 to 0-12 late on following scores from Rory Grugan (two frees), Conor Turbitt, Stefan Campbell and Oisin O’Neill.

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That gave them the lead in the last minute of normal time, but Donegal notched three of the last four points to seize victory at the death.

“It was annoying. Especially when we gave the ball away when we didn’t have to; we weren’t under any pressure," said Kieran McGeeney reflecting on the final few minutes.

“It (closing out games) is something which we definitely need to get better at, because it has cost us in previous games.

“I suppose that's the last piece of the jigsaw.”

After a close first half, Donegal led 0-8 to 0-7, but Armagh didn’t come out of the blocks for the second half and scored just one point in the opening 25 minutes of the period ahead of that late scoring burst which put them ahead.

“We were a bit flat,” the Armagh manager conceded.

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“It was just one of those weeks; we had no pitches to train on, a bug in the camp. I suppose we were hoping that we would come in fresh and give us a bit of a bounce, but we just seemed to be very flat today.“We were still in the game for most of it, but disappointment I suppose is the overriding emotion.”

For full match report and reaction see this week’s Newry Reporter – in shops Wednesday April 3!