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24th Aug 2023

Armagh receive huge boost as ‘immense leader’ returns after 18 months out

Lee Costello


“Oisin is immense. Oisin is a leader amongst leaders.”

Armagh and Crossmaglen have been boosted by the return of Oisin O’Neill, who has been out of action for the past 18 months due to injury.

O’Neill finally ended his nightmare spell on the sidelines last weekend when he returned to club action, and even kicked three points against Clan na Gael in their Championship group match.

The versatile sharp shooter wasn’t involved with Kieran McGeeney’s Armagh team at all last season, and missed his club’s successful championship campaign last year.

Eager to be back, it didn’t take long for the county star to show why he was such a big miss for both club and county, as he picked up right where he left off.

Anthony Cunningham, who manages the side, and captained them to All-Ireland glory back in 2000, was full of praise for his returning talisman.

“Oisin is immense. Oisin is a leader amongst leaders,” said Cunningham.

“He got three points today (against Clan na Gael).

“There was one ball late on when we tried to go long to him. I think Rian let him down with a bad pass to him. They can talk about that one themselves!”

Originally it was a quad injury that kept O’Neill out of action, but then he needed surgery on his achilles which compounded his time on the injury list, and he had to endure a long period of rehab.

Last weekend’s match was also the first opportunity Oisin got in over a year to play alongside his brother Rian, who captains the county team and is undoubtedly their main man up front.

Rian hit five points in the match himself, which will come as no surprise to anybody, but even the return of the O’Neill brothers wasn’t enough to seal the win as they had to settle for a draw.

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