FL2: Armagh secure promotion with strong finish in Ennis

October 24, 2020

Armagh's Rian O'Neill celebrates after scoring a goal against Monaghan. ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson.

Armagh 1-18
Clare 1-13

Armagh will be playing their league football in Division 1 next season after seeing off Clare this afternoon in Ennis.

Kieran McGeeney’s men kicked the last five points at Cusack Park to ensure their promotion from Division 2 alongside Roscommon.

Callum Cumiskey’s early goal looked like having the visitors in the driving seat as they went on to open up a seven-point gap before the first-half water break.

Clare showed some resolve to trim the difference down to one by the interval and they’d be level at 1-13 apiece, but Armagh dominated the closing minutes on the scoreboard to seal a return to the topflight.

Cumiskey’s strike came inside two minutes for Armagh and would be backed up by a point from Stephen Sheridan before Gary Brennan got the Banner men off the mark on five minutes. 

Two Rian O’Neill frees outweighed one from Eoin Cleary at the other end and from there the Ulster men looked like running away with the points, as Rory Grugan (2) landed a brace to push the lead out to seven.

Jamie Malone and Cleary (free) hit back for Clare prior to Jason Duffy cancelling out another from Malone, leaving it at 1-7 to 0-5 with 10 minutes to go in the half.

The hosts would finish it out strong until the half-time whistle with two more frees from Cleary and a Keelan Sexton ‘45’ making it 1-7 to 0-9 at the break.

Rian O’Neill (2, 1 free) and Stefan Campbell hit Armagh’s first three points of the restart but they were wiped away in an instant when Cian O’Dea broke through at the other end and rifled to the net.

From there, Cleary’s placed kicking put the heat on the Orchard men and they surrendered their lead with eight minutes remaining after Sexton raised another white flag.

The game was up for grabs and it was McGeeney’s men that took it with both hands, as Oisin O’Neill hit back-to-back points to steady the ship prior to sub Jarlath Og Burns and of Grugan (free) sealing the win in injury-time.

Armagh - Blaine Hughes; Aidan Forker, Ryan Kennedy, Paddy Burns; Stephen Sheridan (0-1), Mark Shields, James Morgan; Niall Grimley, Rian O’Neill (0-6, 4f, '45); Rory Grugan (0-3), Callum Cumiskey (1-0), Conor O’Neill (0-1); Jamie Clarke (0-1), Oisin O’Neill (0-3, 1m), Jason Duffy (0-1). Subs: Greg McCabe for M Shields (34mins), Stefan Campbell (0-1) for Duffy (HT), Jarlath Óg Burns (0-1) for C Cumiskey (41), Cathal McKenna for Grimley (50), Conor Turbitt for Clarke (64).

Clare - Eamonn Tubridy; Gordon Kelly, Cillian Brennan, Eoghan Collins; Alan Sweeney, Aaron Fitzgerald, Pearse Lillis; Cathal O’Connor, Gary Brennan (0-1); Jamie Malone (0-1), Eoin Cleary (0-8, 6f), Ciaran Russell; Keelan Sexton (0-3, 1f, ’45), Joe McGann, Cian O’Dea (1-0). Subs: Sean Collins for A Fitzgerald (44mins), David Tubridy for C Russell (44), Podge Collins for J McGann (58), Kevin Harnett for E Collins (67), Gearoid O’Brien for C O’Connor (70).

Ref: Derek O’Mahoney (Tipperary)

Most Read Stories