Jamie Clarke says some players played into 'keepers hands with their penalty technique 2 weeks ago

Jamie Clarke says some players played into 'keepers hands with their penalty technique

This Armagh team have now lost the two most important games they've ever played on penalty shoot-outs.

Last year's All-Ireland quarter final defeat to Galway scratched the surface, but this Ulster final loss to Derry will have cut a hell of a lot deeper. It will be a while before they get over it.

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It was bonus territory last year, in many ways, but this was an Ulster championship that they really could have done with. Not one of the Armagh panel, it should be pointed out, have won any medal of meaning - League or Championship - while playing for their county.

On the other hand, the Derry players already have Ulster medals and League medals.

But the wait goes on for the Orchard. It was yet again a cruel ending - that's what we always say when it goes to a penalty shoot-out - but a pattern is developing for Kieran McGeeney's team.

They only scored one out of four penalties against Galway (Rian O'Neill) and they only scored one out of four against Derry (Callum Cumiskey). That's a 25% success rate. Some say that penalties are wrong and that they aren't part of Gaelic football but the fact of the matter is that they are now, and it's something Armagh will certainly need to improve on.

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Former Armagh star forward Jamie Clarke, for one, has no issue with a shoot-out deciding the outcome of a game.

"It's, it's an awful way to lose.

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"But, you know, it's great drama and the excitement that comes with penalty shootouts is special, and I'd still prefer that than a replay," the Crossmaglen Rangers player said on this week's GAA Hour.

As a soccer player and former penalty taker for Armagh, Clarke knows penalties and, watching on, he did feel that some players played into the 'keepers' hands. Paul Cassidy and Rian O'Neill, as you will see below, started their run up a good five metres back from the ball and Clarke feels this plays into goalkeepers' hands.

He says that this gives goalkeepers an advantage in terms of anticipating the strike.

"I think a lot of the boys were taking a huge run up and that's giving the keeper an advantage.

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"I know David Gough was watching goalkeepers and trying to keep them on the line.

"But I think by the time they were, you know, in that run up, the keeper was out a yard so it was giving him a chance to read the penalty, which makes it a little bit more predictable.

Meanwhile, the 33-year-old felt that if they were less cautious, Armagh would have won the game before the shoot-out.

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"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.

Listen to the full show below.