Hurlers crash out of Nicky Rackard Cup

Armagh 2-9 Mayo 2-23

A superior second half showing from Mayo sent them through to this seasons Nicky Rackard Cup final.

Armagh put up a great fight, but the scoring prowess of Keith Higgins proved too much to deal with.

The four-time football All-Star proved he can play with the small ball as well, and finished the game with 0-11.

Mayo started impressively, leading 1-2 to 0-1 inside the opening six minutes of the game. Stephen McKearney got Armagh off the mark before Danny Magee doubled their tally.

Photo Credit: Richiespics

Magee was involved in the next move. The Sean Treacy’s attacker was upended in the square and goalkeeper Simon Doherty stepped up to fire the ball low to the net.

The sides traded scores, with Magee and Peter McKearney cancelling out points from Mayo’s Sean Regan and Sean Kenny.

Higgins and Aidan Phillips put the Westerners two ahead before a Fionntan Donnelly free halved the margin.

Kenny grabbed his second of the game, but the Orchard County claimed the final score of the opening half.

Photo Credit: Richiespics

Fionntan Donnelly’s goal came on the stroke of half time and gave his side a two-point lead at the interval. 1-7 to 2-5.

Three quickfire points from Higgins (two frees) at the beginning of the second half saw Mayo take a two-point lead.

A long-range Donnelly effort accompanied by a Mark McClatchey score levelled the tie, 1-10 to 2-7.

Higgins was on form, and another brace was split by Paddy McBride. Phillips and Jason Coyne slotted over two scores to hand Mayo a three-point lead at the water break.

Photo Credit: Richiespics

Mayo’s star man Higgins restarted the action with his eighth point of the game. Centre half forward Cathal Freeman brought Mayo’s advantage to five moments later.

It was all Mayo at this stage and full-forward Phillips grabbed a late goal to stretch the finally tally to 14 points.

Paddy McBride chipped in with his sides only score in the last quarter, as Armagh limped out of the competition.

Armagh: Simon Doherty 1-0, Ciaran Clifford, Tiarnan Nevin, Reece Magee, Paudie Lappin, Oisin Keenan, Dillon Fox, Peter McKearney 0-1, Odhran Curry, Tiarnan O’Neill, Paddy McBride 0-2, Mark McClatchey 0-1, Stephen McKearney 0-1, Fionntan Donnelly 1-2, Danny Magee 0-2. Subs: Paddy Kelly for R. Magee, Tiarnan O’Hare for S. McKearney, Fintan Oliver for M. McClatchey.