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Kevin McStay: Armagh can prevail in Ulster SFC semi-final replay against Monaghan

Updated: Friday, 04 Jul 2014 18:20 | Comments

Armagh and Monaghan must meet again to decide who faces Donegal in the Ulster final
Armagh and Monaghan must meet again to decide who faces Donegal in the Ulster final

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RTÉ pundit Kevin McStay goes with Armagh to see past Monaghan in Sunday's eagerly-awaited Ulster SFC semi-final replay in Clones.

The drawn game saw Armagh fire over the last three points to ensure parity and so get another chance to book a place in their first provincial decider since 2008.

Monaghan will feel that they let victory slip last Saturday and have made two changes for the replay, with Chris McGuinness and Paudie McKenna coming into attack at the expense of Jack McCarron and Padraig Donaghy. 

Armagh will be able to call on Andy Mallon, Brendan Donaghy and Kieran Toner after their one-match suspension.

All told, Sunday's encounter is delicately poised and that's the way Kevin McStay sees it.

"They are just not scoring enough from their midfield and half-forwards" - Kevin McStay on Monaghan

Speaking to RTÉ Sport, he said: "I’m finding it awful hard to figure who has benefited from the drawn game. Armagh have the three lads back from suspension.

"Monaghan have had time to get their house in order and improve. But they are just not scoring enough from their midfield and half-forwards.

"The booby prize for the loser here is a trip to Tyrone so it’s going to be a fantastic contest.

"I think Armagh, just, may have more options this time round. They fought back well in the drawn game so I’m giving them the nod." 

McStay also cast his eye over the four games in round 2A of the football qualifiers.

Limerick v Antrim

Limerick have a very good qualifier record. They got to the quarter-final a few years ago through that route. I’m expecting a tight match. It’s a tough away draw for Antrim.

"Limerick have the old soldiers in Galvin (John), Lucey (Stephen) and Ryan (Ian) and that will ensure they’ll take the spoils."

Tipperary v Longford

This is the standout game from the qualifiers. It’s a curtain-raiser for the hurling (Tipp v Galway) so it’s perfectly set-up.

Have Tipp recovered mentally and physically from their narrow defeat to Cork? If they have, they’ll win it. If they haven’t, Longford are travelling with great morale after their smashing win over Derry.

"These are two well-matched teams. They’ll be little in it at the end. If I’m pushed – Tipperary by a nose.”

Wicklow v Sligo

Aughrim is Aughrim, so it’s going to be a tough spin for Sligo. Wicklow have recovered from their loss to Laois.

"I think the home advantage is everything here. Sligo, ultimately were not great against Galway, so it’s Wicklow for me.

Wexford V Laois

There’s a good marker here in that both of them lost to Dublin. Laois were more impressive. Wexford weren’t bad last Sunday but ultimately they got hammered. That’s happening a lot of teams against Dublin, obviously.

"Wexford will still have last week’s game in their legs, if not in their minds. I’m going to go far Laois – the only away win in the qualifiers."  

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