Armagh 3-17 Donegal 0-16
Armagh made it through to the last eight of the All-Ireland series with a dazzling display against Donegal.
Kieran McGeeney’s side backed up their eye-catching win over Tyrone with an even better performance seven days later.
Despite making the better start, it was Donegal who actually controlled the opening quarter. Leading 0-9 to 1-2 after 20 minutes.
Rory Grugan rattled the net after 10 seconds, latching on top Rian O’Neill’s long ball and driving it past Patton.
Donegal heled the upper hand for the next 20 minutes but 1-6 on the trot from the Orchard gave them the ascendancy heading into the break.
Two short kickouts from Patton turned the game. The first ended up in a converted 45 after Stefan Campbell’s goal-bound effort was turned away by Caolan Ward.
Having not learned his lesson, Patton went short again and Armagh gobbled it up. Grugan played in Aidan Nugent who was dragged to the ground.
Patton received his marching orders with a black card, so it was midfielder Caolan McGonagle who faced Rian O’Neill’s penalty.
Either way, it would have made no difference for this was O’Neill’s day. The Crossmaglen ace nailed the spot kick and Armagh never looked back.
While only four points separated the sides at the break, Donegal were deflated. And Armagh were in no mood for messing around.
They pushed on with scores from O’Neill, Jarly Og Burns and Campbell opening up a nine-point gap before Donegal got off the mark.
Stephen Sheridan added more misery for the Tir Chonaill men. His delicate shimmy fooling Patton and the Forkhill man rolled home his first ever championship goal.
Donegal tried desperately hard for a goal of their own but the Armagh defence were unbreakable. Shane O’Donnell fired over the last score of the game, bringing his tally to 0-4, but it was only a consolation at that stage.
Armagh’s performance was a million miles away from the one we witnessed in Ballybofey the last time this sides met.
Like the Tyrone win last weekend, this felt like another breakthrough victory. It’s Croke Park now for the Orchard and they face Galway in the All-Ireland quarter final.