Armagh KO Tyrone to join Derry and Donegal in McKenna Cup semi-finals

January 15, 2022

Armagh's Jason Duffy celebrates after scoring his goal against Tyrone ©INPHO/Lorcan Doherty

Rory Grugan’s goal helped Armagh hold off Tyrone in Omagh this afternoon to move into the semi-finals of the Dr McKenna Cup.

The Orchard men came away from Healy Park with a 2-15 to 1-15 victory in the end, with the hosts having upped the ante considerably in the second-half.

The victors had gotten off to a strong start in this derby as Jason Duffy’s goal had them 1-3 to 0-1 in front after 13 minutes and they’d extend the lead to six by the water break.

Aidan Nugent and Mattie Donnelly traded a pair of points each in the run up to half-time before Conn Kilpatrick’s injury-time goal brought the All-Ireland champions right back into contention, with the scoreboard reading 1-9 to 1-5 at the break.

Grugan and Stefan Campbell were introduced for the second-half by the visitors and the former quickly converted a free to make it a five-point game.

Tyrone came very close to closing the gap however, as Paul Donaghy (3), James Garrity and Conor Meyler all grabbed points that had it a 1-13 to 1-12 with 15 minutes to go.

Armagh struck their killer blow just before the second water break though as Grugan latched on to a pass from Rian O’Neill and fired to the Red Hands’ net.

O’Neill and Nugent added points down the home stretch to ensure a second win in as many games which pits Kieran McGeeney’s men against Monaghan in the semi-finals on home turf next Tuesday night (7.45pm). 

Antrim’s Odhran Eastwood with Tony McClenaghan of Donegal ©INPHO/Jonathan Porter

In Portglenone, Donegal scored a 0-15 to 1-9 victory over Antrim to seal their berth in the last four.

The Tir Chonaill men had led by 0-5 to 0-2 at half-time but Conor Murray’s goal at the start of the second-half tied up proceedings.

Points from Charles McGuinness and Conor O’Donnell steadied the visitors’ ship and they kept their noses in front until the finish, with injury-time points from Jamie Brennan and Paddy McBrearty (0-7) enough to ensure the three-point win.

Donegal now play Derry on Tuesday night in Ballybofey (7.45pm) after the latter side saw off Fermanagh by 0-17 to 1-10 in Roslea this afternoon.

Matthew Downey’s accurate frees helped the Oak Leafers to lead by 0-10 to 0-6 at the half and, despite Sean Quigley netting a goal for Fermanagh with 10 minutes to go, Rory Gallagher’s men were able to see out victory.

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