SFC Qualifier: Orchard send Lake men packing

June 09, 2018

Westmeath's Kelvin Reilly with Rory Grugan of Armagh.
©INPHO/Tom Beary.

Armagh 3-16
Westmeath 1-11

Armagh struck three second-half goals in Mullingar this evening as they sent Westmeath crashing out of the All-Ireland senior football championship for the second successive summer.

Upset by Fermanagh in the Ulster quarter-finals, Kieran McGeeney's side put forth a more all-round solid display on this occasion as they controlled practically from start to finish against the hosts.

It took all of 12 seconds for Ethan Rafferty to open up the Orchard men's account via a fine point with the only real bump in the road for them during the first-half coming in the form of Ronan O'Toole's goal.

John Connellan was the orchestrate in the Lake County's three-pointer but they couldn't kick on from there as Charlie Vernon (2) and Rory Grugan (3) sailed over points at the far end which sent McGeeney's side in at the break with a 0-11 to 1-4 lead.

Rafferty would be stretched off seven minutes in the resumption and replaced by Ryan McShane, as Armagh stuck to their guns after the long delay.

Andrew Murnin landed a fortuitous goal soon afterwards which saw Westmeath's debutant 'keeper mishandle the ball and drop the ball into his own net.

Colin Kelly's charges responded well with three points on the bounce from Kieran Martin, Denis Corroon and Ger Egan (free) but the game was up for them once Anthony Duffy drove home Armagh's second goal.

Substitute Gavin McPartland banged in the winners' third, ensuring his county's name will be in the hat for Monday morning's second round draw.

Armagh - Blaine Hughes; Patrick Burns, Brendan Donaghy, Aaron McKay; Aidan Forker,  Gregory McCabe (0-1), Connaire Mackin; Charlie Vernon (0-3), Aaron Findon; Joe McElroy, Ethan Rafferty (0-2), Mark Shields; Jemar Hall (0-2), Andrew Murnin (0-1), Rory Grugan (0-5, 5f). Subs: Niall Rowland for A Findon (HT), Ryan McShane (0-1) for E Rafferty (42mins, inj), Anthony Duffy (1-1) for C Mackin (57), Gavin McParland (1-0) for J McElroy (66), Oisín Mac Íomhair for J Hall (66).

Westmeath - Kevin Fagan; Mark McCallon, Sam Duncan, Jamie Gonoud; John Egan, Noel Mulligan, Boidu Sayeh (0-1); Denis Corroon (0-2, 1f), Darragh Daly; Kieran Martin (0-1), Ronan O'Toole (1-2), Ger Egan (0-1, 1f); Luke Loughlin (0-3, 3f), John Connellan, Callum McCormack. Subs: Finbar Coyne (0-1) for D Daly (25mins), Ronan Wallace for S Duncan (34, blood), David Whelan for J Egan (50), Ronan Wallace for D Corroon (54, blood), Conor Slevin for B Sayeh (63) Ronan Wallace for M McCallon (66), Anthony McGivney for J Connellan (71), John Rock for G Egan (73)

Ref: David Gough (Meath)

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