Cumann Lúthchleas Gael Uladh

Armagh win Minor Title

July 20th, 2009

ulster-mfc-final-2009.jpgUlster Minor Football Championship Final:
Armagh 1-08  Down 1-05

Armagh struck for two late points to seal victory in a low-key and, at times, quite scrappy Ulster Minor Championship final in Clones yesterday,

The Orchard county just about deserved the result against a Down team who only established a foothold in the game for a couple of periods in either half.

The winners were never headed, while the best that Down achieved was drawing level twice in the first half. Thereafter they were playing catch-up, although there was never more than three points between the sides at any stage.

Both sides came into the game with very good credentials following their semi-final victories. But on the day they simply failed to sparkle, although the difficult playing conditions with heavy rain before the match and during the half-time break did not help.

The game was five minutes old when Armagh opened the scoring with a point from midfielder Peter Carragher.

Armagh then picked up the pace and looked like they were getting into their stride as they went four points in front a minute later when Rory Grugan crashed to the Down net following good work by Conor King.

However, they were unable to consolidate and Down responded with a good period that saw them level by the 13th minute, David McKibben, with a point from a free, got them off the mark in the 10th minute and then Caolan Mooney goaled in the 13th minute when he was on hand to capitalise after an effort by McKibbin had been blocked.

Both sides squandered chances in the following nine minutes before Robbie Tasker restored Armagh’s lead in the 22nd minute.

A minute later Down were back to parity through Mark Haughey and both sides again wasted chances. With one minute of normal time remaining Robbie Tasker capitalised when a Down defender spilled a cross to restore Armagh to the lead, although Down had a great chance to equalise when Ross McGarry was awarded a close-in free, but his effort came back off the bar to leave the half-time score Armagh 1-3 Down 1-2.

Armagh got down to the task right from the start of the second-half and within three minutes they had extended their lead to three points, Eugene McVerry from a free and corner back Kealan Downey breaking through with McVerry the provider.

The bright start though was ultimately to be a false dawn as the second half wore on. Points by Kevin McClory in the sixth minute and Robbie White from a free in the eighth minute brought Down to within a point with the standard of play now scrappy.

Gavin McParland restored Armagh to a two-point lead in the 11th minute with the game then scoreless until the 24th minute when Down pulled back a point through adventurous corner-back Darragh O’Hanlan.

Entering the final minutes Armagh rallied for two excellent points from Rory Grugan to clinch victory.

Armagh: S O’Reilly; K Downey (0-1), R Finnegan, K Nugent; D McKenna, N Rowland, J Morgan; P Carragher (0-1), J Donnelly; R Grugan (1-2), A Murnin, C King; R Tasker (0-2), E McVerry (0-1), G McParland (0-1).

Subs: R Rafferty for A Murnin, D Nugent for C King.

Down: J Deeney; R Doran, S McNamee, D O’Hanlon (0-1); K McClorey (0-1), C McClean, F McEvoy; C Mooney (1-0), N McParland; M Haughey (0-1), R White (0-1f), K Quinn; M Bagnall, R McGarry, D McKibben (0-1f).

Subs: D O’Hare for D McKibben, N Cunningham for K McClorey, P Quinn for R White.

Referee: S McNamee (Tyrone).


– Video: Armagh beat Down to become Ulster Champions 2009
– Video: Armagh captain Declan McKenna received the trophy after winning the ESB Ulster MFC
– Video: History, colour and nostalgia at the 2009 Ulster Finals in Clones
– Photo Gallery: Ulster MFC Final – Armagh v Down

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