Penalty controversy overshadows dramatic draw

Armagh 1-7 Monaghan 0-10

Rian O’Neill’s ‘missed penalty’ will no doubt be the main talking point amongst all Armagh fans this week.

Leaving the Athletic Grounds on Saturday night, both sets of supporters would have been pleased with a share of the spoils.

That was until video evidence of O’Neill’s penalty began to circulate. His effort crashed off the crossbar and bounced behind the line, before hopping to safety.

That was during a crazy spell where Armagh were on top for the first time in the game. Monaghan marksman Conor McManus headed for an early shower for an altercation with Aidan Forker.

Armagh's missed penalty saw them leave with a share of the spoils

Dessie Ward then dragged down Rory Grugan inside the square and received his marching orders with a black card.

While O’Neill’s converted penalty wasn’t awarded, Armagh did hit the net moments later.

Good defensive work from Grugan and Oisin O’Neill, who marked his return to action with a point, saw the ball shipped to Conor Turbitt who coolly finished to the net.

Points from Stefan Campbell, O’Neill and Tiernan Kelly gave Armagh the lead for the first time, 1-7 to 0-9.

While the smash and grab victory looked complete, Monaghan had one final say. Jack McCarron split the posts from the dead ball to earn a draw for the visitors.

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Although it was Monaghan who were chasing in the final moments, they dominated proceedings for long periods.

Seamus McEnaney’s side brought a physicality to the middle of the park that the Orchard haven’t faced this season.

The Farney men pressured the Armagh restarts, but their wayward shooting kept the hosts in touch. Ten first half wides were registered and still Monaghan led 0-8 to 0-4.

Rian O’Neill claimed Armagh’s first two scores, chipping over frees he’d won himself. Conor Turbitt came in for O’Neill after the Crossmaglen man made way as a blood sub.

Armagh's missed penalty saw them leave with a share of the spoils

‘Turbo’ fisted a score and set up Jason Duffy’s only point of the evening to keep Armagh in contention before the break.

Both sides spurned goal chances at the start of the second half before Armagh finally hit the net.

While certainly not their best performance, the sort of dogfight Monaghan brought is perhaps exactly what Armagh needed.

They faced adversity and still claimed a draw despite giving perhaps their worse performance of the season.

Kieran McGeeney’s men remain unbeaten in the top tier and will hope to extend their run against Mayo next weekend.

Armagh Team: Blaine Hughes, Paddy Burns, Aidan Forker, Aaron McKay, Connaire Mackin, Niall Rowland, Jarly Og Burns, Ciaran Mackin, Stephen Sheridan Jemar Hall, Rory Grugan, Tiernan Kelly 0-1, Jason Duffy 0-1, Rian O’Neill 0-2 (2f), Aidan Nugent. Subs: Conor Turbitt 1-1 for R. O’Neill (BS), Oisin O’Neill 0-1 for S. Sheridan, Stefan Campbell 0-1 for N. Rowland, Rian O’Neill for J. Duffy, Mark Shields for J. Hall, Niall Grimley for Connaire Mackin.

Monaghan Team: Rory Beggan, Kieran Duffy, Conor Boyle, Ryan Wylie, Conor McManus 0-4 (2f), Dessie Ward, Killian Lavelle 0-1, Darren Hughes, Niall Kearns, Ryan McAnespie 0-1, Micheal Bannigan 0-1, Shane Carey 0-1, Andrew Woods, Jack McCarron 0-2 (2f), Gary Mohan. Subs: Kieran Hughes for N. Kearns, Karl O’Connell for R. McAnespie, Drew Wylie for A. Woods, Aaron Mulligan for G. Mohan.

Armagh's missed penalty saw them leave with a share of the spoils