Gaa: How the Two Ulster Heavyweights Rate

The Mirror (London, England), July 9, 2005 | Go to article overview

Gaa: How the Two Ulster Heavyweights Rate


Byline: BERNARD FLYNN

GOALKEEPER

P HEARTY: A rock, what an addition to the defence, as important as anybody, a giant of a man, great hands and a massive kickout. 8

J DEVINE: Not as authoritive as his opposite number, good shot stopper but not as comfortable in the air - must come into the equation under the high ball. _

7

RIGHT CORNER BACK

A MALLON: Wirey and very fast, he is improving all the time. Works hard on his game, also getting stronger as he gets older. 7.5

R McMEMAMIN: Along with Joe Higgins of Laois the best corner back in the business. Performs at an exceptionally high level all year round - speedy but built strong and has no fear. 8.5

FULL BACK

F BELLEW: Each week we think someone is going to roast Francie but it never happens. So committed and honest, he typifies all the good qualities Joe Kernan likes. Deceptively fast mind - great reader of a ball being delivered by the opposition. 8.5

C LAWN: Around a long time - great servant to Tyrone over the years. Has been suspect under the high ball - will have his hands full with Ronan Clarke. I hope for his sake this final's one to remember and not to forget. 7

LEFT CORNER BACK

E McNULTY: Has now regained his position and will do all in power to hold on. Did well on Paddy Bradley - strong in one to one combat - great attitude and fast over 10 yards. High ball may cause a problem though. 7.5

S SWEENEY: Tried in a few positions, this guy is better than people think, strong and tight and can play a bit of football as well. Good feet and will stick to whatever job he is given. Croke Park will suit him . This boy has a good attitude. 7.5

RIGHT HALF BACK

A KERNAN: Aaron has been a breath of fresh air this season and will only get better as he develops. He is a good ball player and possesses two good feet - just look at his scoring record already as a defender. 7.5

D HARTE: Has gone about his business in a business like manner and gets through a lot of work without much fuss. He generally lets the ball off when he wins it and won't be one looking for front page headlines. 7

CENTRE HALF BACK

K McGEENEY: The spiritual leader of Armagh but he has changed his game a bit. Defending very well and delivering better ball out of defence, going so far up the field then stopping - he is not using unnecessary energy. Great heart and amazing attitude. 9

G DEVLIN: The unsung hero, links very well with half forwards and covers the

gaps well, very strong in the tackle and steely minded in his approach. 8

LEFT HALF BACK

A O'ROURKE: Dropped at the beginning of the Championship but Joe Kernan has gone back for the man with the experience. Doesn't look as fit as before but rarely lets Armagh down - big and strong and loves to overlap and can score inspirational points. Will have to watch his opposite number closely on Sunday. 7

P JORDAN: Very influential, even as a wing back he is one of the leaders - when things are not go invariable grabs the game by the scruff of the neck. Incredibly fit and has questionably the best engine in the game. 9

MIDFIELD

P McGRANE and J TOAL: Armagh have struggled a bit in this department, against Derry they were slaughtered but Toal came to the rescue and retains his position. McGrane like McGeeney is a powerful man, he gives it his all - getting it hard to win clear possession in the air. If he clicks Armagh click. Toal 7.5, McGrane 8

S CAVANAGH, C. GORMLEY: Gormley has become the perfect ally for the main man Ca

vanagh. They will run all day with Cavanagh's all round game improving by 50 per cent - he has got very physically strong and become one of the main cornerstones. Gormley is such a versatile player he is comfortable in defence or attack. Let's say there will be many body parts used in this third of the field. …

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