Armagh U20’s off to winning start

Armagh 2-14 Monaghan 3-8

Armagh’s under 20 side welcomed Monaghan to the Athletic Grounds on Wednesday evening for the first league tie of the season. The home side controlled most of the contest, leading from the 7th minute until the final whistle, while withstanding a five minute onslaught near the end of the game to see out a three point victory.

Monaghan opened the scoring from a pointed free while Armagh replied through Eoin McConville before Justin Kieran put his side in front. Armagh stretched their lead to five minutes later when a turnover in the Monaghan defence allowed Ross McQuillan to steal through on goal and bury the ball to the net.

Monaghan responded in emphatic fashion with a goal of their own within 60 seconds. The Farney men showing great patience in attack, waiting for the opportunity to present itself before crashing through the Armagh defence and striking for goal.  Conor Turbitt gave the Orchard County a bit of breathing space with two points while Justin Kieran recorded his second score.

Monaghan pulled one back before a great ball from Ross McQuillan was flicked over the goalkeepers head and into the net by Niall Magennis to give Armagh a six point advantage. Once more Monaghan hit back in the best possible way and reduced the deficit to three with another goal. Wing half back Ciaron Cosgrove fired over the last score of the half, with Armagh in front 2-6 to 2-2 at the break.

Similar to the first 30 minutes, Monaghan once again opened the scoring with a point before Armagh hit three on the trot, Turbitt (2) and substitute Ronan McGuinness both finding the target. A Rioghan Meehan score separated two Monaghan points before McGuinness split the posts once more for his second point since being introduced.

With 10 minutes remaining, and trailing by 6 points, Monaghan went for broke, which resulted in scoring 1-2 in three minutes to reduce the margin one. Armagh finished strong however, recording three of the final four points with Turbitt (2) and McGuinness again the men to lead from the front. Armagh saw the game out well and finished in front 2-14 to 3-8.

Kieran Doyle had a brilliant game at wing half back for the men in orange and white while Cormac Smithbattled hard in the middle of the field. Ross McQuillan and Conor Turbitt showed real quality in attack while Ronan McGuinness also done well, hitting 0-3 after being sprung from the bench.

Team: Conor Lorcan, Aaron Kimley, Conor Tierney, Sam McClarnon, Ciaron Cosgrove (0-1), Sean McCarthy, Kieran Doyle, Cormac Smith, Niall McCorry, Tiernan Kelly, Ross McQuillan (1-0), Eoin McConville (0-1), Niall Magennis (1-0), Conor Turbitt (0-6), Justin Kieran (0-2). Subs: Rioghan Meehan (0-1) for N. McCorry, Ronan McGuinness (0-3) for E. McConville