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.
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.
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.
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.
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.