We deserved a draw - Paul Grimley

We deserved a draw - Paul Grimley
Devastated Armagh manager Paul Grimley at last found his voice in the bowels of Croke Park on Saturday evening.

Devastated Armagh manager Paul Grimley at last found his voice in the bowels of Croke Park on Saturday evening.

But the larger than life figure still managed to deliver a few “straight lefts” to the assembled hacks.

The Armagh boss was a very willing participant in an earlier schemozzle with Donegal where Karl Lacey was “detained” by two burly Armagh men and he showed he was not afraid to wade into the gentle persons of the press.

“There will no continuance of this (the media ban).

“This was a simply thing that started out over a simple gesture.

“We sent Peter McDonnell to the launch of the Ulster Championship in Belfast.

“He sat down for two and a half hours and not one reporter approached him.

“So I decided that we would say nothing before the Cavan game because apparently nobody was interested.

“So if nobody is interested in what we have to say, we will say nothing.”

He said his grievance with the media was the reporting of the event (the row over the flags).

“It then transpired that because we took a stance towards the media, the media took a nasty approach to us.

“And an ugly side of the media started to appear.

“So it only enforced the decision that we made to keep that going.

“Because we had a right to keep our own counsel and we were not in favour with the media for doing that and then they started into schoolboyish insults towards myself, the team and the county board.

“That’s not acceptable with anybody.

“Even last week our county board was called spineless.

“That’s a complete disgrace that anybody can stand by that.

“Our chairman has given five good years to this county.

“And then to turn around and call them spineless, from somebody who does not even know them.

“It is not on and I would suggest that Croke Park regulate itself from here on in,” he blasted.

When asked about Donegal’s smash and grab act he said he felt that Armagh deserved a draw “without a shadow of a doubt”.

“Once we got up and running we felt it was going to take a helluva good team to beat us.

“Goals were a big factor in this match and Donegal’s goal was a soft goal.

“But we went straight up the field and got a point.

“At half-time we were happy enough.

“We had to cut out the errors.

“We started to lose ball around the middle of the field.

“But this was a game of patience.

“It was a basketball type build up where you had to be extremely patient and extremely composed.

“You were facing a wall and when we found the space we used it,” he said.

He added that this youngish Armagh side had to “go through days like today to learn how to close games out.

“You can’t do that in training.

“It could take four or five years.

“We have a bit of work to do.

“There is a big age group in this squad so we have to get new players.

“We deserved a draw but Tony’s free dropped short and he just put everything into it.”

When asked why Armagh were unable to build on their lead when they were a point in front in the 67th minute, he said:

“I could make a lot of excuses but I feel they got one or two handy frees. “The difference was that their experience told under pressure and in Michael Murphy they have one of the most experienced and best players in the country.

“And that showed at the finish.