Armagh miss out on semi spot

Cavan 1-14 Armagh 1-9

Armagh missed out on a spot in the semi-final of the McKenna Cup, losing to Cavan last night by five points.

Even in defeat, it looked like Armagh were still going to reach the last four, but Derry’s draw with Tyrone knocked Kieran McGeeney’s men out of the running.

11 half time substitutes from the Orchard County upset their momentum and handed the hosts the initiative.

The first half ended all square, although Armagh were the better team on show after a slow start.

Armagh missed out on a spot in the semi-final of the McKenna Cup
Photo Credit: John Merry

Cavan burst out of the traps, with man of the match Dara McVeety exchanging efforts with Aidan Nugent.

Martin Reilly nudged Cavan ahead again before Ryan O’Neill latched onto a mishit Ethan Rafferty kickout and punished the error with a goal.

Cavan keeper Raymond Galligan effortless swung over a free and Cavan led 1-3 to 0-1 after ten minutes.

But Armagh found their groove with four of their next five scores. Galligan split points by Conor O’Neill, Nugent, Rory Grugan (free), Conor Turbitt and Stefan Campbell.

Armagh missed out on a spot in the semi-final of the McKenna Cup
Photo Credit: Richiespics

McVeety and Grugan swapped scores while Jarly Og Burns had to settle for a point well a goal chance presented itself.

Grugan chipped over his third to put Armagh ahead for the first time, but Oisin Brady cancelled that out to level the score at half time. 0-9 to 1-6.

Second half

Kieran McGeeney rang the changes and although the likes of Rian O’Neill, Connaire Mackin and Jemar Hall came on, Armagh fielded a fairly inexperienced side for the second half.

Cavan took full advantage and powered into an eight-points advantage, with Armagh scoring just once after the turnaround.

Armagh missed out on a spot in the semi-final of the McKenna Cup
Photo Credit: John Merry

That score came from substitute Oisin Conaty, who blasted the ball past the helpless Raymond Galligan to get his first ever score in an Armagh jersey.

The second half was disappointing, but like last week, all the players that togged out got some game time.

It’s all about the league now, and Armagh’s next outing will be against Monaghan in round one. All attention will now shift to Castleblayney at the end of the month.

Armagh: Ethan Rafferty, Greg McCabe, Aaron McKay, Ross Finn, Conor O’Neill 0-1, Barry McCambridge, Jarly Og Burns 0-1, Stefan Campbell 0-1, Stephen Sheridan, Joe Sheridan, Callum Cumiskey, Tiernan Kelly, Rory Grugan 0-3 (3f), Conor Turbitt 0-1, Aidan Nugent 0-2. Subs: Shea Magill for E. Rafferty, Connaire Mackin for R. Finn, Niall Smith for C. O’Neill, Jemar Hall for B. McCambridge, Ross McQuillan for J. Burns, Rian O’Neill for S. Campbell, Niall McConville for C. Cumiskey, Cian McConville for T. Kelly, Shane McPartland for C. Turbitt, Conor Grimley for A. Nugent, Kieran Doyle for A. McKay Lee Rice for G. McCabe, Oisin Conaty 1-0 for S. Sheridan.

Cavan: Raymond Galligan 0-2 (2f), John Cooke, Conor Moynagh, Evan Finnegan, Ciaran Brady, Dara McVeety 0-3 (1f), Tiarnan Madden 0-1, Killian Clarke, Enda Maguire, Gerard Smith, Oisin Brady 0-3 (3f), Oisin Kiernan, Martin Reilly 0-1, Ryan O’Neill 1-0, Cian Madden 0-1. Subs: Brandon Boylan 0-1 for O. Kiernan, David Wilson for J. Cooke, Ryan Donohoe for E. Maguire, Brian O’Rourke 0-2 for M. Reilly, David Brady for R. O’Neill, Conor Rehill for C. Brady, Oisin Kiernan for C. Moynagh, Tristan Noack Hofmann for K. Clarke.