McKeever: memories of league defeat drove us on

15 July 2017

Armagh's Jamie Clarke and Paul Shields celebrate after the game

Selector Paddy McKeever says Armagh were determined not to let Tipperary beat them again in this evening's All-Ireland SFC Round 3B qualifier.

A last-gasp Michael Quinlivan goal saw Tipp pip the Orchard County for promotion to Division 2 of the Allianz League at the Athletic Grounds last April, and it looked like the All Star full forward would torment them again when he netted in the 38th minute of today's encounter in Thurles to give Liam Kearns' side a four-point lead.

But Armagh rallied and, aided by Jamie Clarke's cheeky late goal, booked their place in Monday morning's Round 4B draw. 

"The goal was a bit of a setback," McKeever told RTÉ. 

"Quinlivan again so there was nightmares and thoughts of what happened in the league. I think that the memories and hurt that that created drove us on."

The 2002 All-Ireland winner added: "It wouldn’t have been pretty at times and it was very nervy towards the end, but I thought we were probably good value for the result. 

"That’s been the story of the year, there’s been question marks in some of the league matches when we’ve given away leads.

"The penny is starting to drop with the boys, whether it’s the 15 who start or whoever comes in, that they all have a job and they are all very much valued but I suppose that comes from within the group as well.

"Again, after the Down [defeat in the Ulster SFC quarter-final], they were all on the floor, they basically picked themselves up, they back each other and that’s just another step and we want to go on again."