Armagh v Galway - the Game at a Glance
MAN OF THE MATCH
Tom Flynn (Galway)
Donal O'Neill was superb on Jamie Clarke, but U-21 Tom Flynn really came of age in midfield, spraying low passes into attack after winning numerous aerial battles.
Danny Cummins' goal in the 24th minute came just after Armagh had closed to within a point. Armagh looked a beaten docket after that.
Both sides had faced Division 4 opposition in their qualifiers this season. Armagh brushed Wicklow aside by 25 points and Leitrim by 29. In the end, though, it seems Galway's close shaves against Tipperary and Waterford served them better. They learnt how to win tight matches.
Armagh had trimmed Galway's four-point half-time lead to two early in the second half, but Tribesman Michael Martin slotted the point of the match in the 48th minute to settle his side.
Both teams will find fault with Clare official Rory Hickey. He seemed to have a tendency to balance decisions in the close 50-50 combat. Players in possession being attacked from three or four sides should be given the benefit of doubt.
WHAT THEY SAID
Alan Mulholland (Galway manager):
"We knew we had a big performance in us. We knew Armagh were a formidable team, they beat us by six in the league, but we felt that we didn't perform up there then."
Paul Grimley (Armagh manager):
"All week we were warning the players. We realised there was a sting in Galway's tail... and that transpired to be the truth."
Galway 6 (5 first half)
Armagh 14 (8)
Galway 22 (10)
Armagh 24 (12)
Galway 3 (S Armstrong 36, G Sice 65, P Conroy 72)
Armagh 3 (P McKeown 34, S Forker 65, J Morgan 68)
cork are next up for Galway this Saturday, while it's the end of the road for Armagh.