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McGeown completes Armagh revival

ARMAGH put down a real marker as they recovered from a 5-1 to 0-5 deficit in a pulsating match to book a semi-final meeting with Fermanagh.

Two goals from Shay McCartan and one each from Caolan Mooney and Shea McArdle had parachuted Down into a seemingly unassailable position at 4-1 to 0-5 at the interval and then McArdle grabbed his second goal three minutes after the break to leave Armagh seemingly down and out. However, substitute Paul Og Grant's 35th-minute goal triggered an amazing recovery and the Orchard County outscored Down by 3-6 to 0-3 the last 25 minutes.

Michael McKenna raced in to power home Armagh's second goal and, with Paul McGeown deadly from frees, they continued to close the gap.

In a thrilling climax, Armagh grabbed a victory that for so long had looked to be beyond their compass when ace marksman McGeown -- he scored 1-8 in all -- coolly drilled a 58th-minute penalty beyond the reach of Down 'keeper Rory Miskelly.

Scorers -- Armagh: P McGeown 1-8 (1-0p, 1 '45', 7f), P Grant, M McKenna 1-0 each, E Rafferty 0-2, M Murphy 0-1. Down: S McCartan, S McArdle 2-0 each, C Mooney 1-1 (1f), J Scannell 0-2 (1f), P Murdock 0-1.

Armagh -- David O'Hagan; B McCarron, C White, D O'Neill; M Murphy, C Hoey, Diarmuid O'Hagan; A Findon, E Rafferty; M Carson , C O'Hanlon, M McKenna; C McNally, P McGeown, C Comiskey. Subs: S Hughes for White (20), P Og Grant for Carson (24), C Gough for Rafferty (h-t), P Burns for O'Hagan (46).

Down -- R Miskelly; D Turley, G McGovern, R Lively; M Hughes, C McCartan, P Murdock; S Harrison, R Johnston; D O'Hanlon, J Scannell, C Mooney; D Doyle, S McArdle, S McCartan. Subs: S Cochrane for Lively (50), R Burns for Scannell (55), R McAlinden for Doyle (59). Ref -- N Mooney (Cavan).

Irish Independent