The large number of Armagh fans helped the hosts over the line against Westmeath says their manager, Dessie Dolan.
Dolan’s side led the game for long periods and looked to be on their way to causing a huge upset.
But Armagh came good in the final quarter, helped by the home support, to come through with one-point to spare.
“They didn’t kick it into the net!” laughed the Westmeath legend, who helped his county to their only Leinster title in 2004.
“In fairness to them, you could sense when Armagh got a point or two that they were coming at us. To be fair to the Armagh supporters, I was in Clones as well, they’re great supporters.
“They should be very proud; they pushed their team on and it was a good win for Armagh. We’re very disappointed so we’ll go back and work hard.”
The goal, scored by substitute Conor Turbitt in the 68th minute, was the major turning point in the game.
Armagh’s three-pointer put them ahead for the first time since the fourth minute and came at a good time, according to Dolan.
“It was disappointing, I think we played well, it was a very good performance. I think the goal, it was a good time for Armagh to get a goal,” said the 2004 All-Star.
“It was a miskick into the square and it fell nicely, back of the net but it terms of our perspective, it was the timing of it. That was a bit of a sucker punch because we didn’t have much time to correct it.
“We’re not a bad team in fairness. We have good footballers, and we firmly believe that the fellas are capable of playing at this level.
“They showed it in patches during the year that they’re very good so we’re just happy that we put in a performance for a good 70 minutes and it’s a very high level.”