Penalties prove Armagh’s undoing once again

Armagh 0-20 (5) Donegal 0-20 (6)

Penalties once again proved Armagh’s undoing as they lost the 2024 Ulster Championship final to Donegal. In an exciting and enthralling game of football, it was Donegal who emerged with the Anglo Celt.

After six penalties apiece, Shane McPartlan was the unfortunate Orchard star that missed his spot kick. It was his second effort, having hit the first, as did Oisin Conaty, Conor Turbitt, Aidan Nugent and Tiernan Kelly.

In normal time, Armagh held a four-point lead, but Donegal came right back into the game to level things. After a nip and tuck encounter, things were decider via penalties and like last year, Armagh lost out.

Aidan Forker swapped scores with Oisin Gallen before Peadar Mogan edged Donegal one ahead. Rian O’Neill’s decisive run cut through the Donegal defence and he set up Rory Grugan for an equaliser.

Gallen nudged over his second but Oisin Conaty (detailed to man mark Ryan McHugh) replied through a fisted point. Donegal stretched their lead to two with a brace of scores from Gallen and Shane O’Donnell.

Two lovely Conor Turbitt points were split by a fabulous Daire O Baoill score before Andrew Murnin and Turbitt raised further white flags. Gallen and Mackin swapped scores, as did O’Donnell and Ben Crealey.

A huge Gallen point evened things up once again before Crealey grabbed a mark to nudge Armagh ahead. That left the Orchard County one-point ahead as the referee sounded the short whistle, 0-10 to 0-9.

Second half

Turbitt, Armagh’s top scorer on the day, along with Conaty and Stefan Campbell, grew the lead to four. A superb point from Niall O’Donnell got Donegal up and running for the second half after 15 minutes.

An O’Neill mark was matched by Michael Langan before a great individual score from Campbell, who was on a one-man mission at times, restored a four-point advantage for Kieran McGeeney’s men.

Penalties once again proved Armagh’s undoing as they lost the 2024 Ulster Championship final to Donegal
Photo Credit: John Merry

Donegal rattled off the next four scores through Niall O’Donnell, Gallen, Jason McGee and Patrick McBrearty to level the game. Armagh had a final chance, but Tiernan Kelly’s mark drifted wide, meaning extra time would be required. 0-15 apiece after 70 minutes.

McBrearty (free) and Murnin exchanged efforts at the start of extra time as did Aidan Nugent and Jeaic Mac Ceallbhui. Nugent nudged Armagh ahead by one at the interval, firing over a free to leave it 18-17.

Mogan levelled matters before a huge Oisin O’Neill point edged Armagh in front once more. Nugent made it a two-point game but scores from O Baoill and Odhran Doherty forced the game to penalties.

Armagh: Blaine Hughes, Paddy Burns, Aaron McKay, Peter McGrane, Joe McElory, Ciaran Mackin 0-1, Aidan Forker 0-1, Rian O’Neill 0-1 (m), Ben Crealey 0-2, Stefan Campbell 0-2, Rory Grugan 0-1, Greg McCabe, Oisin Conaty 0-2, Andrew Murnin 0-2, Conor Turbitt 0-4. Subs: Jarly Og Burns for G. McCabe, Oisin O’Neill for B. Crealey, Aidan Nugent 0-2 (1f) for C. Turbitt, Tiernan Kelly for A. Forker, Jason Duffy for J. McElory, Shane McPartlan for C. Mackin, Conor Turbitt for R. O’Neill.

Donegal: Shaun Patton, Mark Curran, Brendan McCole, Ciaran Moore, Ryan McHugh, Caolan McGonagle, Peadar Mogan 0-1, Jason McGee 0-1, Michael Langan 0-1, Shane O’Donnell 0-2, Ciaran Thompson, Daire O Baoill 0-1, Eoghan Ban Gallagher, Oisin Gallen 0-6 (2f), Niall O’Donnell 0-2. Subs: Caolan McColgan for M. Curran, Patrick McBrearty 0-2 (1f) for C. Moore, Aaron Doherty for D. O Baoill, Jamie Brennan for E. Gallagher, Jeaic Mac Ceallbhui 0-1 for C. Thompson, Odhran Doherty for O. Gallen, Daire O’Baoill for N. O’Donnell, Ciaran Thompson for P. McBrearty.

Penalties once again proved Armagh’s undoing as they lost the 2024 Ulster Championship final to Donegal.
Photo Credit: Richiespics