Armagh 3-17 Donegal 0-16
ARMAGH are into the All-Ireland quarter-finals after sizzling 10-point win over Donegal earlier today.
Played in a bouncing Clones, the hats, flegs and noise was made by a roaring Orchard support who outnumbered their opponents 10-1.
And the Armagh team, certainly give their support something to cheer about. The game was only 10 seconds old when Rory Grugan rattled the Donegal goal after Rian O’Neill’s perfect delivery.
However, Donegal came into the game, with Armagh standing off and with Michael Murphy, Shane O’Donnell and Patrick McBreaty chipping in with points it was the Tir Chonaill men who led 0-09 to 1-02 with 20 minutes gone.
But Armagh blitzed Donegal over the next 15 minutes as they hit 1-06 before their opponents replied. Man of the Match Rian O’Neill was in sensational form, his points where superb, he took the game to Donegal and coolly converted a penalty. Jason Duffy, Rory Grugan and the brilliant Jarly Og Burns peppered the scoreboard as Armagh led 2-08 to 0-10 at the break.
Andy Murnin, Stefan Campbell, Greg McCabe. Aaron McKay and James Morgan were fantastic while Aidan Forker did marvellous man-marking job on Murphy. Donegal were down to 14 players briefly after keeper Shaun Patton was black-carded.
Rian O’Neill set the tone for the second half when he glided past his marker Brendan Cole and floated over a beauty. The support erupted and Armagh were not going to lose.
They played with width and imagination and there was a massive cheer when Soupy Campbell picked off a great point. Two more points from O’Neill stretched Armagh’s lead before Murphy (free) scored Donegal’s first point of the half on 52 minutes.
Armagh were in control of the team they lost to in the Ulster championship and after beating the defending All-Ireland champions Tyrone last week it was vital, they backed that up with a performance today and they didn’t disappoint.
And before the hour was up the hard-working Stephen Sheridan gave a wee shimmy before confidently tapping into the net to give Armagh 3-13 to 0-12 lead and the celebrations begun.
Substitute Conor Turbitt fired over two great scores, Burns brought his tally to four points and while Donegal Armagh had the game won.
The crowd poured onto the pitch and stayed there for a good hour after the final whistle as players signed jerseys and posed for selfies. Armagh find out who they play in tomorrow (Monday) mornings draw on RTE 1 Radio at 8.30am. They’ll face either Derry, Kerry or Dublin, to be played in Croke Park and they’ll fear no-one.
After all, the future is bright, the future is orange.
ARMAGH: E Rafferty; J Morgan, A Forker, C O'Neill; A McKay, G McCabe, J Og Burns (0-03); S Sheridan (1-00), B Crealey; R Grugan (1-03 (0-1f), S Campbell (0-01), R O’Neill (1-07, 1-0 pen, 0-2f, 0-1 ’45); A Nugent, A Murnin, J Duffy (0-01).
Subs: C Turbitt (0-02) for Murnin (56), J Hall for Sheridan (63), M Shields for Nugent (65), C Higgins for Duffy (69), J Kieran for C O’Neill (73).
DONEGAL: S Patton; C Ward, B McCole, A Doherty (0-01); R McHugh (0-01), E Ban Gallagher, O McFadden Ferry; C McGonagle, J McGee (0-01); C Thompson (0-01), M Langan, P Mogan; P McBrearty (0-01), M Murphy (0-06, 5f), S O’Donnell (0-04).
Subs: M Lynch for McBrearty (31), McBrearty for Lunch (37), J Brennan for Thompson (45), C O’Donnell for Ward (58), N O’Donnell (0-01) for Langan (63), J McKelvey for McHugh (63).
Referee: B Cawley (Kildare).