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16th May 2023

Why parts of Armagh’s performance ‘frustrated’ Jamie Clarke

Lee Costello

“It was nearly like the approach was to deal with Derry.”

Armagh came within an inch of winning the Ulster final on Sunday, but lost out on penalties to Derry who retained their title for the second year running.

Former Armagh star Jamie Clarke believed that the game could have been won before it ever got to penalties, if certain things went a little bit differently.

Speaking on the latest episode of the GAA Hour, Clarke admits that there were aspects of the Orchard county’s performance that he found frustrating.

“There are just other things within the game that would have frustrated me from an Armagh point of view. The game was there, and it was nearly like the approach was to deal with Derry rather than impose Armagh’s game.


“I personally think that Armagh have a higher calibre of player when it comes to the forwards. How they were being utilised, particularly yesterday, it didn’t play into their hands.

“Despite having chances I just felt they could have went and squeezed them, and had a real go at it, because essentially, they are back to square one again anyway, no matter what happened, they are into the group stages.”

When asked if it was a case of Armagh giving too much respect to Derry, Clarke clarified that it was probably more a case of emotions getting the better of the team.

“I think that Armagh wanted it so much. That they want the Ulster title, and they wanted it so much yesterday that emotion probably took over again.


“The crowd, the atmosphere, I suppose there were chances that were missed. Rory (Gruggan) missed one from the mark, Aidan Forker missed one close in as well.

“There was chances – Jarly Og probably thought with his goal chance that the point would have won it, considering that the game is so close. but prior to that Armagh had been burying those chances, they had been going for the jugular.

“It just seemed that they were slightly cautious of getting the balance of staying in the game, and actually going on and taking it.”


Clarke was referring to the goal opportunity that Jarly Og had, where he opted to fist the ball over the bar, and was then asked on whether that was the correct decision to make or not.

“I think Brendan Rogers had one yesterday, to put Derry three points up and he actually missed it, but when you’re in a situation like that… the way I would look at it is, if Jarly Og puts the ball into the net, then Armagh win the Ulster title.

“I suppose with sport comes that pressure, if you missed, then you have to take the fact that you missed, and you didn’t put it over, but at the end of the day it’s like, what do you want to do? – If it’s your moment, what are you going to do?”

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