Monaghan travelled to Armagh on Wednesday evening knowing that nothing less than victory in the Athletic Grounds would keep them in this year's Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup, but on the night they came up short against the home side who did shade the exchanges during the second half of a most competitive and entertaining contest despite the difficult, greasy conditions. The start of the game was delayed by some thirteen minutes as a number of Monaghan players had been held up due to being caught in traffic as a result of an accident on the M1 outside Newry.
Monaghan, who made as many as ten changes from the game against St Mary's were the better team in the opening twenty minutes at the end of which they led by four points, but from there on Armagh gradually grew into the game, although Monaghan still led by three at half-time. Five minutes into the second half Armagh were back on level terms and the sides were level on four further occasions
before Armagh struck for what turned out to be the winning point with eleven minutes of normal time remaining, although it was a score that came after a fourth consecutive hand pass that was missed by the referee.
Match Stats: Scorers: Armagh: Stefan Campbell 0-3, Niall Grimley 0-2 (1f) Aidan Forker 0-2, Ryan Kennedy, Mark Shields, Stephen Sheridan, Rory Grugan, Rian O'Neill and Jamie Clarke 0-1 each.
Monaghan: Jack McCarron 1-3 (1-0 pen, 0-1 f), Rory Beggan 0-3 (3f), Thomas Kerr, free, David Garland and Vinny Corey 0-1 each.
Armagh: Blaine Hughes, Ryan Kennedy, Aaron McKay, Connaire Mackin, Mark Shields, Greg McCabe, Aidan Forker, Stephen Sheridan, Charlie Vernon, Niall Grimley, Rory Grugan, Jarlath Og Burns, Stefan Campbell, Jack Grugan, Rian O'Neill. Subs: Jamie Clarke for J Grugan (20), Joe McElroy for C Vernon (55), Pearse Casey for S Sheridan (68). Yellow Cards: Ryan Kennedy (2), Jamie Clarke (21, 68), Greg McCabe (65). Red Card: Jamie Clarke (68).
Monaghan: Rory Beggan, John McCarron, Conor Boyle, Kieran Duffy, James Mealiff, Barry Kerr, Ryan Wylie, Fintan Kelly, Gavin Doogan, Thomas Kerr, Darren Freeman, Dermot Malone, Stephen O'Hanlon, Jack McCarron, David Garland. Subs: Vinny Corey for J Mealiff (HT), Owen Duffy for D Freeman (43), Micheal Bannigan for T Kerr (56), Dessie Mone for John McCarron (61), Drew Wylie for G Doogan (61). Black Card: Thomas Kerr (29).
Referee: Barry Cassidy (Derry).