ULSTER IS FAR FROM PREDICTABLE

3 June 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By Kevin Carney

There has been a stuttering start to this year’s Ulster SFC but the competition still has few equals when it comes to generating excitement, spawning drama and engineering outcomes least expected.
Safe to say, the only thing we can safely predict from here on in is that Monaghan and Donegal won’t be meeting for a fifth year running in the Ulster senior final.
Save, say, the Munster SHC, the football championship in this neck of the woods is the one that consistently gives more than any of its peers. Last Sunday, new life was breathed into the race for the Anglo-Celt Cup by two teams who played with zeal, zest, vim and vigour.
Whereas the meetings of Antrim and Fermanagh and Derry and Tyrone struggled to raise a temperature worthy of the Ulster championship, the footballers of Cavan and Armagh combined – to varying degrees – to make some optimistic noises.
Armagh were a transformed lot from the crew that were trounced by the blues back in their NFL duel in March. They showed pride, tenacity and an eagerness to prove their doubters wrong. Their shortcomings up front was their Achilles heel. Nothing the return of Jamie Clarke, the maturation of Rory Grugan, the class of Stefan Campbell and the guile of Tony Kernan couldn’t go some way to fixing down the line.
The nuts and bolts of last weekend’s fare are that whereas just three Armagh players made the scoresheet, Cavan’s far superior division of labour at the business end of the field was manifest in the fact that eight of their number put a dent on the scoreboard.
Ultimately, the age-old maxim that ‘forwards win matches’ ricocheted around Kingspan/Breffni Park at the final whistle last Sunday afternoon .
Armagh were out-classed in several sectors by Cavan but particularly in the art of creating and executing scoring chances.
On an energy-sapping day fuelled by a dead heat and the absence of a forgiving breeze, Cavan’s superior pace and mobility were …..
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