Monaghan 0-9 Armagh 0-7
Armagh will view this game as the one that got away, having led for the majority of the championship encounter. But ten second half wides derailed their chances.
It was a low scoring affair, but with plenty of excitement and both teams had brilliant chances to hit the net denied.
Monaghan keeper Darragh Croarkin pulled off a fine save in the opening period to prevent Callum O’Neill’s effort.
The goalpost and a last-ditch goal line clearance by Sean Conlon kept Armagh’s clean sheet intact.
Armagh started the championship encounter with whirlwind. They struck four of the first five scores, but Monaghan soon dragged themselves back into contention.
Orchard dangerman Oisin Conaty opened the scoring after three minutes, but his point was cancelled out by Monaghan captain Dylan Byrne.
It was all Armagh in the opening quarter and wing back Callum O’Neill was causing headaches with his darting run forward.
O’Neill was upended, leading to Armagh’s second score with Aaron O’Neill tapping over from the free.
Armagh made their dominance count with further scores from Fergal O’Brien and Sean Conlon, who pointed after a piercing run and offload from Tadgh Grimley.
Momentum switched for the second quarter however and the home side, led by full forward Stephen Mooney, took control.
Cian Conlon earned and scored a free before Mooney fired over a super point to narrow the gap to one. Mooney added another to level before Darragh McMullen edged Armagh ahead at the break, 0-5 to 0-4.
Brendan O’Hagan bombed forward to stretch Armagh’s led, but it took the Orchard County another 20 minutes to add to their tally.
In that time, Monaghan, got their noses ahead for the first time. Two Cian Conlon points and another from Coalan Reilly, following a one-two with Daniel McCahey, made it 7-6.
Aaron O’Neill levelled for Armagh, but again the home side nudged ahead through substitute McConnell before Mooney sealed the deal with the final score of the game to hand Monaghan a two-point victory.