Coulter on song for the Orchard
Armagh 1-17 Mayo 1-10
Published 21/03/2016 | 02:30
Armagh powered their way past Mayo to book a final showdown against rivals Down on Saturday.
The Orchard County needed to win or secure a draw to seal a place in the decider and showed their nerves in the first half, striking nine wides.
Mayo's response from last week's surprise defeat to Wicklow failed to materialise as Armagh dominated the game, but while Ryan Gaffney, Conor Corvan and Declan Coulter did find the target, errant shooting meant they only led 0-7 to 0-3 at half-time.
Mayo relied on the steady hands of Kenny Feeney to keep them in the game and with 44 minutes played the Westerners closed the gap to 0-8 to 0-6. But points from Eoin McGuinness, Gaffney and Coulter kept Armagh's noses in front.
Mayo goalkeeper Donal O'Brien and Armagh counterpart Simon Doherty both pulled off cracking saves before the hard-working Coulter struck a 62nd-minute goal to give Armagh an eight-point lead.
But Mayo rallied and substitute Padraig O'Flynn found a way through Armagh's tight defence to lash in a late goal, leaving a tense final few minutes.
But unlike the footballers against Galway last week, the Orchard hurlers held on to win their fourth game in a row.
Scorers - Armagh: R Gaffney 0-7fs, D Coulter 1-3, C Corvan 0-3, D Carvill 0-2, E McGuinness, K McKernan 0-1 each. Mayo: K Feeney 0-6 (3fs, 2 '65s'), P O'Flynn 1-0, C Charlton, C Freeman, G Nolan, C Scahill 0-1 each.
ARMAGH - S Doherty 8, C Clifford 8, A McGuinness 8, C Devlin 8, K McKiernan 8, S Gaffney 7, C Toner 7, J Corvan, S Renaghan 7, D Carvill 8, R Gaffney 7, C Carvill 7, D Coulter 7, E McGuinness 7 and C Corvan 7. Subs: P McKearney 6 for Conor Corvan (67), P Hughes 7 for S Gaffney (68), D McKenna 6 for R Gaffney (68), S Keenan 6 for E McGuinness (70+2).
MAYO - D O'Brien 7, B Hunt 6, P Connell 6, E Collins 6, N Casey 6, G McManus 7, C Freeman 7, A Lyons 6, J Cotter 7, K McDermott 6, C Charlton 6, G Nolan 8, S Boland 6, K Feeney 7, S Regan 6. Subs: S Mulroy 6 for McDermott (31), C Scahill 7 for Charlton (47), P O'Flynn 7 for McManus (58), D McTigue 6 for Nolan (59).
Ref - G McGrath (Wexford)