Armagh 3-18 (2) Galway 2-21 (4)
Armagh were knocked out of the All-Ireland series in the cruellest possible circumstances when a penalty shootout decided their fate.
They were up against it when Stefan Campbell, who was outstanding all day, missed their first spot kick.
Conor Turbitt also rattled the post while Rian O’Neill converted from the spot. Galway hit the net with all four of their penalties and to advance to the last four.
There was everything you would want in a game of football in this epic encounter that literally went down to the wire.
Armagh came back from the dead to drag the game to extra time and even an addition 20 minutes couldn’t separate the sides.
Kieran Molloy put Galway six points ahead as the game entered the eight minutes of added time.
Goals from Aidan Nugent and Conor Turbitt, split by a Damien Comer score, gave Armagh hope.
They had one last chance to salvage something out of the game and up stepped the man for the big occasion, Rian O’Neill.
From around 60 metres out, O’Neill powered over the leveller and the roaring fans who had turned Croker orange had another 20 minutes to endure.
David Coldrick flashed red cards to Aidan Nugent and Sean Kelly before extra time, for their involvement in the melee just below the Cusack Stand at the end of full time.
Greg McCabe was also harshly sent to the line just normal time, but Armagh were back up to 15 men for extra time.
The sides traded scores, with Rory Grugan’s palmed goal putting the Orchard two up. But Galway hit back, and Cillian McDaid rattled the net to put his side ahead.
Jemar Hall looked to have sealed the deal, but McDaid again offered a reply for Galway. His monster effort confirmed a draw.
It wasn’t to be for Armagh on the day, but the men in orange and white died with their boots on and did themselves and their fans proud.
They never said die and the impact off the bench was a huge boast with Eoin Woods, Conor Turbitt, Hall and Justin Kieran all registering scores.
It’s back to the drawing board for now, but Armagh are certainly heading in the right direction and there will be more big days to come in the near future.