Away day win for Armagh hurlers

Monaghan 2-15 Armagh 1-27

Armagh got their league campaign back on track with an away win over Monaghan on Sunday afternoon.

The Orchard County didn’t have it all their own way but had enough quality on the field to deal with any problems Monaghan fired their way.

Padraig O’Connor’s side flew out of the traps and built up a four-point lead as quickly as the 5th minute of the game.

Derrynoose’s Peter McKearney swung over the game’s opening point right from the throw in, while Monaghan’s Fergal Rafter tied the score.

Eoin McGuinness pointed after a super catch and could have had a goal, but the keeper deflected the shot out for a 65.

Fionntan Donnelly hammered the ball over from the dead ball and also struck two frees to put Armagh four ahead.

Two more converted dead balls from the Keady youngster matched points by Rafter and Mark Treanor before Armagh really took control.

Donnelly slotted over two more frees while Paddy McBride got forward from midfield to get in on the scoring action.

A goal midway through the second quarter from full forward McGuinness handed Armagh a strong eight-point advantage.

Rafter rallied with another for the Farney men as a good save from Simon Doherty helped Armagh keep their lead.

Donnelly and McKearney traded scores with the Monaghan dangerman Rafter before two more scores from the hosts closed the gap at the break, Armagh up 1-11 to 0-8.

Half time substitute Stevie McKearney opened the scoring for the Orchard County while Tiarnan O’Neill also pointed after being introduced.

Odhran Curry fired over two in a row before Monaghan grabbed their first goal through Mark Treanor to narrow the gap to six.

Petey McKearney, Donnelly (free) and Danny Magee all hit the target while Monaghan replied with two Rafter scores.

A brilliant Paddy McBride catch set up Stevie McKearney’s second point and Donnelly knocked over another score from a set piece.

Magee, Peter McKearney and McBride raised further white flags while Monaghan closed the gap once more with a Stephen Lambe goal.

Armagh remained on top however and replied with four unanswered scores from Aaron Fox, Donnelly, Magee and Ciaran Clifford.

Monaghan hit two late scores, but Armagh were comfortable in the final stages and guaranteed the two points.

This win sees the Orchard County sit in second place, just behind Sligo who top the table on head-to-head and also have a game in hand.

Armagh will face Tyrone in the final round of the campaign and hope Sligo drop points in their next two outings to give them a shot at promotion.

Armagh Scorers: Fionntain Donnelly 0-10, Eoin McGuinness 1-1, Peter McKearney 0-4, Danny Magee 0-3, Paddy McBride 0-2, Stephen McKearney 0-2, Odhran Curry 0-2, Tiarnan O’Neill 0-1, Aaron Fox 0-1, Ciaran Clifford 0-1.