Armagh 2-14 Tyrone 0-14
Armagh, stripped out in their new black gear, ripped apart the 2021 All-Ireland champions for 35 minutes, while doing enough in the second half to keep ahead.
Two goals, five red cards, a scuffle and some outstanding football meant an entertaining afternoon for the 14,000 plus that gathered in the Athletic Grounds on Sunday.
The brawl that broke out just before the final whistle didn’t look like much. But referee David Gough had a different view.
He sent Greg McCabe to the line for his involvement. But his dismissal of four Tyrone players caused the most confusion.
The man in the middle dished out 18 cards in total. Five reds, 13 yellows but no black cards were shown
The removal of five players was never going to impact the result. Armagh had secured their second win in as many games by that stage.
Rian O’Neill played a more withdrawn role but still left a huge mark on the game. It was his defensive-splitting pass that sent McCabe through on goal.
Goals win games
The Shane O’Neill’s man showed all the composure in the world to sidestep Niall Morgan and slot home the first goal.
The men in black dominated before netting again, this time it was Jason Duffy who rippled the net. They could and probably should have had another two but built up a ten-point lead by the break.
The Red Hands gave a better account of themselves after the turnaround, thanks mostly to the accuracy of Cathal McShane.
Tyrone pushed up on the Armagh restarts and eventually closed the gap to just four points but couldn’t get the goal that would scare the hosts.
Armagh tagged on the last two scores of the day through Stefan Campbell and Rory Grugan (free) to give them a comfortable six-point lead at the finish.
Eleven different players got on the scoresheet for Armagh in a stunning performance that sees them placed at the top of Division One.
They’ll enjoy a much-deserved week off, but Monaghan in two weeks’ time pose another big challenge.