Cumann Lúthchleas Gael Uladh

Ulster SFC Semi Final: Armagh edge out Down

April 29th, 2024

Ulster Senior Football Championship Semi-Final

Armagh 0-13 Down 2-6


Jason Duffy steered Armagh into the Ulster Final with a one-point over rivals Down, who were so close to getting one over their neighbours.

It was a tentative start, but Celium Doherty’s goal on 33 minutes put the Mourne men into the lead. Armagh subsequently rattled over two points in as many minutes to go in at the break level.

Ryan Magill opened the scoring at it was the 15th minute when Rian O’Neill’s 45-metre free levelled the tie. O’Neill and Forker fired over points between a lot of controlling keep-ball play.

Pat Havern was told by his manager to take a free, after he had previously missed his first three attempts and he drilled over with half and hour gone to put only a point between the teams.

It was getting scrappy but Pierce Laverty’s run caught the Orchard back peddling and the ball was moved to Kilcoo’s Doherty’s who drilled low at the near-post, Armagh keeper Blaine Hughes pulled off a stunning save, but it deflected off the in-coming defender Burns and into the net.

It was a massive boost for Down, but Armagh stayed composed with another outside of the boot score from Forker, before Grugan’s close-range free meant there was nothing between the teams at half-time (0-5 to 1-2).

Ryan Magill grabbed Down’s second goal on 48 minutes and the Mourne men controlled the narrative for much of the half as Armagh found it difficult to get hold of possession. Ryan Johnston, Daniel Guinness, Danny Magill and Pat Havern were on target with points as they kept the lead.

Rory Grugan’s frees kept the Orchard in touch and then coming down the home stretch substitutes Oisin O’Neill, Aidan Nugent and then the late, late winner from Duffy.

Young Oisin Savage had a chance to send the game into extra-time with a difficult free, but drifted wide. So, it’s Armagh into the Ulster Final for the second time in as many years.

Armagh: Blaine Hughes, Paddy Burns, Aaron McKay, Peter McGrane, Joe McElroy, Ciaran Mackin, Aidan Forker (0-2), Rian O’Neill (0-3), Ben Crealey, Stefan Campbell, Rory Grugan (0-5, 5fs), Oisin Conaty, Conor Turbitt, Andrew Murnin, Jarly Og Burns.

Subs: Jason Duffy (0-1) for Crealey (49’), Oisin O’Neill (0-01 mark) for J Burns (53’), Dara McMullen for Campbell (60’), Aidan Nugent (0-1) for Conaty (65’).

Down: John O’Hare, Peter Fegan, Ryan McEvoy, Ceilum Doherty (1-0), Micael Rooney, Pierce Laverty, Shealan Johnston, Jonny Flynn, Odhran Murdock, Daniel Guinness (0-1), Ryan Magill (1-1), James Guinness, Ryan Johnston (0-1), Finn McElroy, Pat Havern (0-2, 2fs), Finn McElroy.

Subs: Liam Kerr for James Guinness (HT), Danny Magill (0-1) for Flynn (42’), Barry O’Hagan for Rooney (52’), Oisin Savage for Havern (60’), Shane Annett for O’Hagan (65’).

Referee: Liam Devenney (Mayo).

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