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Revealed: The Best Armagh Team Of The Last 30 Years As Voted By You

Revealed: The Best Armagh Team Of The Last 30 Years As Voted By You

After a week of debate, the votes have been tallied, and we can reveal our fifth 15 for 30 team - Armagh's best county football team of the last 30 years, as voted by the public.

Over the course of the week, thousands of votes were cast for over 50 players, but in the end, only 15 could be named.

Some of the positions turned out to be straight forward. The six forwards who made it into the team had the six most votes of any players. They were never going to be caught. Likewise, the full back line looked set from early on, while Kieran McGeeney was always going to be number 6.

The biggest battles were in goals and for the second midfield slot alongside Paul McGrane. In the end, 1999 captain Jarlath Burns won that honour, but the competition was so fierce between himself, Niall Grimley, John Toal, Tony McEntee, Charlie Vernon, and even his son Jarly Óg, that he gets on the team despite only having the 18th most votes. Former captain Ciaran McKeever and pre-glory years star forward Ger Hoolahan can be considered very unlucky.

Also unlucky is the man who received the 14th most votes of any player. All week the battle between goalkeepers Paul Hearty and Benny Tierney was incredibly close. In the end, both players received a huge share of votes, but Hearty made it in with just 38 votes to spare.

The final team lines up as follows:

The Armagh 15 for 30:

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Armagh

1. Paul Hearty;

2. Enda McNulty, 3. Francie Bellew, 4. Andy Mallon;

5. Aaron Kernan, 6. Kieran McGeeney, 7. Aidan O'Rourke;

8. Paul McGrane, 9. Jarlath Burns;

10. Diarmuid Marsden, 11. John McEntee, 12. Oisin McConville;

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13. Stevie McDonnell, 14. Ronan Clarke, 15. Jamie Clarke.

In the end, 10 of the 2002 All-Ireland winning starting team made the XV here, including five of the six forwards. Paul Hearty, Aaron Kernan and Andy Mallon all experienced the post All-Ireland glory years for Armagh, while Jarlath Burns is the only selection of players who finished up before the real success came. Of the current crop, only Crossmaglen's Jamie Clarke made the cut.

Incredibly, the six forwards to made the team had the more votes than any other players, even including three time All-Star and former Footballer of the Year Kieran McGeeney. Stevie McDonnell topped the poll with Ronan Clarke and Oisin McConville not far behind him.

 

The Top 30 in order of votes received in all positions was as follows:

1. Stevie McDonnell

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2. Ronan Clarke

3. Oisin McConville

4. John McEntee

5. Diarmuid Marsden

6. Jamie Clarke

7. Andy Mallon

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8. Kieran McGeeney

9, Francie Bellew

10. Paul McGrane

11. Enda McNulty

12. Paul Hearty

13. Aaron Kernan

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14. Benny Tierney

15. Aidan O'Rourke

16. Ciaran McKeever

17. Ger Hoolahan

18. Jarlath Burns

19. Paddy McKeever

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20. Rian O'Neill

21. John Toal

22. Andy McCann

23. Tony McEntee

T24. Brendan Donaghy

T24. Niall Grimley

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26. Stefan Campbell

27. Charlie Vernon

28. Justin McNulty

29. Aidan Forker

30. James Morgan

We're sure this will only cause further debate now that the voting has closed.

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Up next, we'll be sticking with football for the 15 for 30, and  moving west to the county of Mayo. This one should be fun. While Mayo obviously haven't won an All-Ireland in the last 30 years, this is as successful a run a county could have without winning the ultimate silverware. They've contested eight All-Ireland finals in the last 30 years with three distinctive teams. It will be fascinating to see the make up of the Mayo public's team. We'll be getting the debate going on Monday.

 

SEE ALSO: Revealed: The Best Tipperary Team Of The Last 30 Years As Voted By You

SEE ALSO: Revealed: The Best Meath Team Of The Last 30 Years As Voted By You

Michael McCarthy

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