Donegal 0-15 Armagh 2-17
The long journey proved to be worthwhile for our Hurlers on Sunday as two second half goals from the Orchard County allowed them to pick up an opening day win, away to Donegal. The game was nip and tuck for most of the contest but the visitors pushed on and struck an unanswered 1-7 in the final 20 minutes.
Former Armagh star Decky Coulter was Donegal’s main attacking threat, as he landed 0-10 of his sides total and it was Coulter who got the opening score with a pointed free three minutes in. Danny Magee responded while points from Paddy McBride, Eoin McGuinness and Ruairi Convery sent Armagh ahead 0-4 to 0-1 after 16 minutes.
Donegal then hit a purple patch, with Coulter leading the way, as he was again on target to half the margin. A fine save from Armagh goalkeeper Fintan Woods denied Donegal a goal but Coulter was on hand to drive over another score from the resulting 65, the deficit now just a single point.
Donegal struck the next three scores to open up a two point gap before Danny Magee replied with a good score to get Armagh back to within one. Donegal pushed on to get two ahead but their lead was soon cancelled out with Ruairi Convery and Danny Magee scores leaving the score 0-7 each.
Convery swapped scores with the Donegal attack again, as did Paddy McBride to keep the teams on level terms heading into the half time interval, the score board reading Donegal 0-9 Armagh 0-9.
Armagh got off to the perfect start in the second period with full forward Eoin McGuinness rattling the net after two minutes to open up a three point margin. Donegal came roaring back and replied in perfect fashion with four consecutive scores to nudge one point ahead.
Ruairi Convery’s levelling score was matched by a Decky Coulter free before another Donegal score handed the hosts a two point advantage, although Donegal would fail to score for the remainder of the game with Armagh dominating the final quarter.
A Convery free brought his side back to within one while substitute Ryan Gaffney hit the back of the net to fire Armagh back into the driving seat. Nathan Curry also got on the score sheet as Danny Magee stroked over his 4th point.
Ruairi Convery landed his 6th of the contest with another point, as Conor Devlin also raised a white flag after being introduced. Woods made another fantastic save to maintain Armagh’s lead while Martin Moan grabbed the final score of the game to see Armagh come away with an impressive 2-17 to 0-15 win.
A terrific start to the league and a big aid in Armagh’s ultimate goal of gaining promotion from Division 3A. They face Monaghan this Sunday in the Athletic Grounds at 2pm and another big performance can be expected.
Armagh: Fintan Woods, Odhran Curry, Artie McGuiness, Ciaran Clifford, Kieran McKernan, Aaron Fox, Tiarnan Nevin, Paddy McBride (0-2), Nathan Curry (0-1), Dean Gaffney, Ruairi Convery (0-6), Shaun Toal, Tiarnan O’Neill, Eoin McGuinness (1-1), Danny Magee (0-5). Subs: Ryan Gaffney (1-0) for S. Toal, Paddy Quinn for P. McBride, Martin Moan (0-1) for T. O’Neill, Conor Devlin (0-1) for A. McGuinness.