Armagh 2-21 Longford 0-16
The Armagh hurling side were in fantastic form in their league opener against Longford on Sunday afternoon.
They enjoyed the familiar surroundings of the Athletic Grounds and were stripped out in the ‘new’ Armagh kit for the first time.
From the opening minute the Orchard County outworked and outclassed the visitors and were on top of the physical stakes throughout the field.
Two first half goals were crucial in securing the win, and both three-pointers came within the first few minutes of the game.
Armagh marked out their intent straight away when Peter McKearney set up an Eoin McGuinness score right from the throw in.
Three minutes later and Armagh had the ball in the net with Danny Magee’s darting run causing mayhem in the Longford rear-guard.
The Sean Treacy’s star shipped the ball across the square to Stevie Keenan who flicked the ball over the goal line.
Joe O’Brien, who was Longford’s man scoring threat throughout the encounter, knocked over a free, but Armagh were on a roll.
Simon Doherty smashed out a long puck out which ended with Danny Magee getting on the end of the move by driving the ball past the helpless keeper.
Fionntan Donnelly excelled in front of the posts and was a key component of the performance, traded scores with the visitors before captain Aaron Fox fired over a massive strike.
Armagh continued to dominate and went on to hit the next five scores through Donnelly (3), Paddy McBride and Eoin McGuinness to stretch the lead to ten.
O’Brien broke the sequence briefly by raising a white flag, but Stevie Keenan and Donnelly added the final scores of the half with Armagh up 2-11 to 0-6.
Longford did rally at the beginning of the second period with five of the first seven scores, but Donnelly and Fox kept their side ticking over with a point each.
Magee, Donnelly, Keenan and corner back Jim Short all added points as Armagh eased to their first win of the season.
Padraig O’Connor’s side will know there are tougher tests ahead, but their performance on the opening day of the season will please the management.
It’s Sligo up next for Armagh and the Orchard County will be travelling west in the hope of capturing another two points.
Armagh Scorers: Fionntain Donnelly 0-11, Stevie Keenan 1-2, Danny Magee 1-1, Eoin McGuinness 0-2, Aaron Fox 0-2, Paddy McBride 0-2, Jim Short 0-1