Hurlers secure league final spot

Armagh 3-16 Tyrone 0-25

On last week’s Results Podcast, Ciaran Clifford spoke to us regarding Armagh’s character stating, “we won’t be beat in terms of character and fight”, and yesterday they had to call upon all the fight they had to claim a draw and reach the league final.

Tyrone had their noses in front for the majority of the contest but could never truly pull away from Armagh, whose three first half goals helped keep them in the game.

Damian Casey led the way for Tyrone and his accuracy in front of the posts was one of the main reasons why the Red Hands were so close to securing the victory.

Casey pointed in the opening minute before Nathan Curry levelled matters with a score two minutes later. Tyrone were on top early on and led 0-4 to 0-1 after seven minutes of play.

Armagh responded brilliantly however and corner forward Danny Magee cracked home a goal in the 8th minute, after great work from Ryan Gaffney and Nathan Curry, to tie the contest.

Casey stroked over another from the dead ball which was soon cancelled out by Ryan Gaffney who opened his account.

The visiting side once again stole ahead, with three points in quick succession as Armagh stopped the oppositions scoring spree, through Eoin McGuinness’ first point.

Then Armagh took the lead for the first time in the game, when Dean Gaffney smashed the ball past the Tyrone keeper from the penalty spot, to see the score board read Armagh 2-3 Tyrone 0-8.

Tyrone replied to level through Damian Casey before Danny Magee raised the 3rd green flag of the afternoon, grabbing his second goal and firing Armagh three in front.

Mattie Lennon’s side would tag on seven of the final nine points of the half, with Armagh’s scores coming through the Gaffney brothers, Dean and Ryan, to see the teams head into the break with the home side trailing, 0-16 to 3-5.

Paddy McBride and Dean Gaffney saw their scores split by two more Tyrone points before Nathan Curry and Gaffney pointed to tie the game six minutes into the second period.

It was really nip for tuck for the remainder of the game as Dean Gaffney’s brace cancelled out two Tyrone scores before Casey stroked over two of his own.

Gaffney and Casey exchanged scores before scores from Fionntain Donnelly, Nathan Curry and the reliable Gaffney left the sides level heading into additional time.

Casey looked to be the hero with his 37th minute point putting Tyrone one ahead but as Clifford stated last week, Armagh weren’t going to be beat for fight.

The chance to level the game fell on the shoulders of Danny Magee and the Sean Tracey’s clubman grabbed the opportunity with both hands and fired over the final score of the game.

Armagh made no secret of the target in the league and they have now completed their first goal of the season by reaching the Division 3A league final.

They will face the challenge of Donegal, who they claimed victory over in round one. The game will take place next weekend with time and venue yet to be confirmed.

Armagh Scorers: Dean Gaffney (1-7), Danny Magee (2-1) Nathan Curry (0-3), Ryan Gaffney (0-2), Eoin McGuinness (0-1), Paddy McBride (0-1), Fiontainn Donnelly (0-1).