NFL 1: True grit from Armagh

March 13, 2011
Armagh 2-10
Mayo 1-10

Armagh led from start to finish to see off Mayo by at McHale Park, Castlebar on Sunday.

Paddy O'Rourke's men led by doubled scores - 2-6 to 1-3 - at the interval, with Brian Mallon and Paul Duffy hitting the goals. The lively Jason Doherty had given the hosts hope with a 35th-minute goal.

Orchard County attacker Brian was placed for the defining early goal within seconds by Malachy Mackin's surging run and Andy Moran replied with a point for Mayo.

The mercurial Steven McDonnell popped over a long-range free to make it 1-1 to 0-1 after seven minutes.

Duffy netted a brilliant second goal for Armagh, who led by 2-3 to 0-2 after 19 minutes. Kieran Toner and McDonnell hit further great scores from play and Armagh looked good in the first period, but Mayo would have the wind behind them in the second half.

As Mayo missed a flurry of chances, the first four points after the resumption were traded. Captain Alan Dillon closed the gap, at 1-6 to 2-8.

Some determined play from the hosts - watched by the new Taoiseach - and the margin was down to two with five minutes left as the match developed into a war of attrition. A flurry of Mayo points in the second half had the scoreboard reading 2-9 to 1-10 to Armagh.

John Murtagh popped over the ninth point for the winners and Kieran McKeever got another late Armagh score. Mayo will feel unlucky after delivering a good second-half performance.

Armagh: P McEvoy; A Mallon, B Donaghy, F Moriarty; K Dyas, C McKeever (0-1), P Duffy (1-0; K Toner (0-1, free), C Vernon (0-1); G Swift, BJ Padden, M Mackin; M O'Rourke, B Mallon (1-0), S McDonnell (0-6, 0-4 frees). Subs: J Lavery for Toner (half-time), J Murtagh (0-1) for O'Rourke (58 mins), R Grugan for Swift (62 mins), C Waters for Mallon (70 mins).

Mayo: K O'Malley: T Cunniffe, C Hallinan, C Barrett; P Gardiner, G Cafferkey, R O'Connor; T Parsons, J Gibbons; A Cambell (0-3, frees), A Dillon (0-2, one free), K McLoughlin; A Kilcoyne (0-1), A Moran (0-3, one free), J Doherty (1-1). Subs: R Feeney for Gardiner (half-time), R McGarrity for Kilcoyne (46 mins), E Varley for Campbell (59 mins), A O'Shea for McLoughlin (68 mins).

Referee: S Doyle (Wexford).

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