Armagh Minors come un-Done
Tuesday, 22 July 2014
Armagh 0-10. Donegal 2-12.
ARMAGH'S rewards for losing to Donegal in Sunday's Ulster Final is an All-Ireland quarter-final against Mayo.
The Orchard lads showed courage and character in the second half but by then Donegal already had one hand on the cup.
Trailing by ten points at the break the Orchard lads were out of the contest and lucky not to be further behind.
While Donegal seemed to physically stronger they also possessed the hunger and drive needed to win silverware and at times the Orchard boys were bystanders as waves of yellow and green surged forward. Donegal won most of the battles throughout the pitch and Armagh were living of scraps and were overrun in most sectors of the pitch.
But Armagh's seven first half wides (to Donegal's two) shows that they had chances to close the gap but lacked accuracy in front of the posts.
Paul Doyle's men were 1-7 down within 20 minutes and had to wait a minute later before Oisin O'Neill bagged Armagh's opening score, which he engineered after a taking a quick free but is second point was a magnificent long-range strike from 40-metres. Donegal set the tone early with as Jamie Brennan brushed past Cathal Donnelly to score a point with only 35 seconds played.
Jarlath Og Burns had a half-chance to grab a goal when he latched on to a lose ball at the edge of the square but his shot went narrowly wide.
Donegal's defence was on top and snuffed out Armagh's attack with strong tackles then worked a quick counter-attack.
Lorcan Connor (free) and Stephen McBrearty added to Donegal's tally before John Campbell drilled in a stunning goal, holding of his marker and striking into the net.
Miceal Carroll, Caolan McGonigle (45') McBrearty (2) all pointed before O'Neill got Armagh's first score.
But Donegal could have been further in front only for brave defending from Belleek's Fergus Quinn who threw is body at the ball to deny Campbell his second goal. Armagh suffered a further blow when Cathal Boylan received a black card and the Orchard side was in trouble.
Half-time: Armagh 0-02 Donegal 1-09
Burns grabbed a point within 40 seconds of the restart and Ryan Hughes converted a free. Armagh played with much more vigor and seemed to find more space to attack.
However, on 34 minutes Armagh keeper Ryan Kearney upended Brennan to concede a penalty and receive a black card, but substitute keeper Colm Rafferty pulled off a fine save from the spot kick.
Connor, McBrearty and Brennan pointed for Donegal but Armagh displayed much more fight and had a number of goal-chances. Jack Rafferty's punched shot was stopped on the line, Conor McNicholl's effort crashed off the post, Ryan McKeown's low near post shot was denied by the keeper and O'Neill was fouled at the edge of the square as he closed in. But Armagh had Donegal on the back foot and kept chipping away at the lead, stroking six successive points over the bar before their opponents replied. Conor Cullen (3), Conor Grimley, and Hughes all pointed and with five minutes to play only five points separated the sides.
But Donegal held firm and then Campbell dealt Armagh a sucker punch goal with the last touch of the game.
The young Armagh lads can be happy with how they responded. Burns, O'Neill, Hughes, Cullen, Quinn and Rushe all came to the fore and these players are young enough to return next season, but first up is Mayo.
ARMAGH: Ryan Kearney, Fergus Quinn, Aidan Rushe, Cathal Donnelly, Cathal Boylan, Cathair McKinney, Conor McNicholl, Jarlath Og Burns, Shane Conlon, Jack Rafferty, Oisin O'Neill (0-3, 1 free), Kyle Mallon, Ryan Hughes (0-3. 1 free), Conor Grimley (0-1) and Caolan McConville.
Subs: Conor Cullen (0-3) for Boylan (black card), Colm Rafferty for Kearney (black card), Ryan McKeown for Grimley and Conor Murphy for Conlon.
DONEGAL: Danny Rogers, Danny McMonagle, Ciaran Gillespie, Colm Kelly, Cian Mulligan, Tony McClenaghan, Andrew McClean, Niall Harley, Caolan McGonigle (0-1, 45'), Eoghan Ban Gallagher, Lorcan Connor (0-4. 3 frees), Miceal Carroll (0-2), Jamie Brennan (1-2), John Campbell (1-1) and Stephen McBrearty (0-3).
Subs: Niall Friel for Mulligan, Ethan O'Donnell for Campbell, Conor Doherty for Harley, Conal O'Boyle for Doherty (black card) and Gavin McBride for Connor.
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