Rory Grugan: Armagh must deal with pressure of backing up Down win in Cavan tie

Armagh beat Down in an extra-time thriller two weeks ago
Armagh won their first Ulster Championship game in four years when they edged out Down two weeks ago
2019 Ulster SFC semi-final: Cavan v Armagh
Date: Sunday 2 June Venue: St Tiernach's Park, Clones Throw-in: 16:00 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Ulster FM and BBC Sport website from 15:45 BST; full deferred coverage on BBC Two Northern Ireland & BBC iPlayer from 19:00

Rory Grugan says Armagh must deal with the pressure of "backing up" their overdue Ulster Football Championship win over Down in Sunday's provincial semi-final against Cavan.

"It doesn't mean that because we've won our first one in a number of years that we're going to go on this massive run," said the Armagh skipper.

Armagh are aiming to earn a first Ulster Final spot since 2008.

While that is a "motivating" factor, Grugan says Armagh must focus on Cavan.

"You are just one game away from an Ulster Final and it's probably been a long time coming but you can't look that far ahead. You're just going to be caught.

"We saw how impressive Cavan were [against Monaghan]. It's a case of looking at the many areas of improvement from the game against Down and seeing where we can do better and then taking a look at the Cavan and taking our chance."

Defender Paddy Burns has been ruled out of the semi-final contest after suffering an knee injury during the early stages of the win against Down with James Morgan coming into the Orchard defence while Andrew Murnin comes into the attack at the expense of Ethan Rafferty.

The other change by manager Kieran McGeeney sees Charlie Vernon drop to the bench as Niall Grimley partners Jarlath Og Burns in midfield.

Cavan have opted to name the same team that started their quarter-final win over Monaghan with veteran forward Cian Mackey once again held in reserve.

Cavan won the most recent Ulster Championship meeting between the counties in 2016, which came two years after a controversial clash when a pre-match mass brawl led to five players receiving one-match suspensions and fines also being handed to both counties.

"Our record hasn't been that great against them in the Ulster Championships over the last few years so we'll be up against it," adds the Armagh captain.

However, Grugan is hoping that the resolve shown by the Orchard men in overcoming Down after extra-time two weeks ago will again be on show at Clones.

"It was a big boost in terms of the character that we showed. We've been in games where those kind of leads have slipped.

"The beauty of it was that we had the extra-time to do it. We showed brilliant character so hopefully we'll use that as a launch pad going into the semi-final."

Armagh: B Hughes; J Morgan, A McKay, P Hughes; R Kennedy, B Donaghy, A Forker; J Og Burns, N Grimley; A Nugent, R Grugan, J Hall; J Clarke, R O'Neill, A Murnin.

Cavan: R Galligan; J McLoughlin, P Faulkner, C Moynagh; G Smith, K Clarke, C Rehill; C Brady, G McKiernan; M Reilly, D McVeety, N Murray; O Kiernan, T Galligan, C Madden.

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