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27th May 2023

Conor Turbitt responds to being dropped with late goal to beat Westmeath

Lee Costello

Conor Turbitt

McGeeney will think twice about dropping him again.

Armagh’s Conor Turbitt would have felt hard done by when he found out that he was dropped for today’s game against Westmeath, but he responded by scoring a late goal to win it.

Turbitt had won back to back Man of the Match awards in the Ulster championship before being frustrated by Derry in the provincial final, persuading Kieran McGeeney to drop the young forward.

Westmeath would have been marked as the easiest match in Armagh’s group, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to rebuild his confidence.

However, the management opted to start Aidan Nugent who hasn’t played much football this year due to injury, and he was clearly struggling to catch up to championship pace.

Conor Turbitt

Ronan O’Toole stunned the Athletic Grounds with an early goal to give the away team the lead, and they held onto that advantage up until half time.

The Orchard county looked deflated, flat and frustrated – in the second half Westmeath refused to let them get the resurgence that they needed by keeping the ball for an incredible four minutes to infuriate the home ground.

John Heslin was fantastic, covering so much ground, but still doing what he does best and kicked five points to really put the fear in Armagh.

Luke Loughlin was equally as dangerous, but when Turbitt finally got his chance he took it with both hands and sealed a real ‘smash and grab’ win for his county.

Conor Turbitt

In the 67th minute, the flying forward found himself on the end of a fortuitous broke ball, and he finished it brilliantly to give his team the lead for the first time since the second minute of the match.

It’s the perfect response that every sharp shooter wants to make to his manager after being dropped, and you imagine that he will be one of the first names on the sheet against Tyrone.

Westmeath will feel really hard done by, as the controlled much of the game, managed the crowd brilliantly, and took advantage of what was a really passive Armagh side.

They may have got out off jail here, but with Tyrone at Healy Park awaiting them next week, McGeeney will want to see a drastic change in energy and intensity from his team.

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