Down defeat Armagh despite second half comeback

Armagh 2-18 Down 2-19 

A spirited second half comeback from Armagh wasn’t enough to get something from this game. 

The Orchard trailed by ten at the interval. The introduction of some experienced heads helped kick them into gear. 

The threat of Paul Sheehan and Pearse Og McCrickard proved difficult to handle for the hosts in the opening half. 

A quick fire 1-1 from Down corner forward Oisin McManus put opened up a six point gap. 

A spirited second half comeback from Armagh wasn't enough to get something from this game. 
Photo Credit: Richiepics

Two Danny Magee frees matched scores from Matt Colon and Sheehan before the water break.

Down recored 8 of the next 10 scores, but Armagh were handed a lifeline before the break. 

Lorcan Oliver had been dragged down while approaching the goal, leaving the referee with no option but to award a penalty. 

Champion 15 All-Star Simon Doherty, just as he did against Mayo last season, raced up from his own goal and blasted a low shot to the net. 

Sheehan added Down’s final score of the opening period. The visitors going into the tunnel with a 10 point lead, 1-16 to 1-6. 

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Padraig O’Connor rang the changes at the break to get more Orchard experience on the field. 

Armagh controlled the third quarter, with scores from Magee (0-2f), Marty Moan and Nathan Curry (0-2 1f). 

Disaster struck however when down, through PJ Davidson netted for the second time. That left a comfortable eight point margin between the sides at the second water break. 

Still, Armagh fought hard for the remainder of the game. Some great defending ensured Down would not raise another green flag. 

Nathan Curry, making his first appearance in the orange and white since 2020’s Nicky Rackard Cup defeat to Donegal, drove over a further three points. 

Nathan Curry made his first appearance for Armagh last night since 2020.
Photo Credit: Richiepics

Fellow Middletown man Marty Moan hit a brace as Armagh clawed their way back into contention. 

Shea Harvey closed the gap with a goal for his side, getting the final touch after a long ball in by Jim Short. 

The lose of Jordan Doran to a staright red helped Armagh’s cause as the extra man really told in the final ten minutes. 

Armagh couldn’t grab a levelling score, but will take some positives from the game. They once again play hosts on Friday evening when they welcome Louth for round two of the McGurk Cup

Armagh Team: Simon Doherty 1-0 (pen), Caolan Rice, Patrick Quinn, Glenn McKeown, Paudie Lappin, David Bridges, Oisin Richards, Michael Lennon, Peter McKearney, Lee Murtagh 0-1, Danny Magee 0-10 (9f), Lorcan Oliver, Matthew Lennon, Eoin McGuinness, Shea Harvey 1-0. Subs: Odhran Curry for P. McKearney, Jim Short for P. Lappin, Tiarnan Nevin for D. Bridges, Nathan Curry 0-4 (1f) for E. McGuinness, Marty Moan 0-2 for Matthew Lennon, Shaun Toal for L. Murtagh, Stephen Renaghan for O. Richards.

Down Team: Paddy McNally, Tom Murray, John McManus, Darragh Mallon 0-1, Barry Trainor, Caolan Teggart, Matt Colon 0-3, Jordan Doran, Ruairi McCrickard, Donal Hughes, Paul Sheehan 0-7 (6f), PJ Davidson 1-0, Oisin McManus 1-1, Eoghan Sands, Pearse Og McCrickard 0-7. Subs: Niall Fitzsimons for P. Sheehan, Niall McFarlane for M. Colon, Matt McAreavey for T. Murray, Declan McCartney for B. Trainor, Matt Colon for C. Teggart, Tom Murray for E. Sands.