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McMahon goal ignites Tyrone

Tyrone secured derby bragging rights, and, more importantly, a precious qualifier victory over Armagh at Healy Park last night.

The Red Hands proved too potent for their neighbours as they edged a step further along the back-door route, setting up a clash with beaten Connacht finalists Roscommon in the fourth round next weekend.

Joe McMahon sparked Tyrone's second-half surge with a goal just before the break, and Tommy McGuigan added a second 12 minutes into the second half.

Tyrone had a golden goal chance when referee Marty Duffy played a smart advantage and Brian McGuigan darted through, but he smashed his shot against a post.

Tyrone produced an explosive five-minute spell, hitting 1-4 to take a four-point lead into the break (1-7 to 0-6). Full-back McMahon popped up on the edge of the opposition square to palm home Harte's cross, after Hearty had given away possession.

But it was Armagh who started the second half with a flourish, hitting three points in as many minutes to narrow the gap to a point.

Jamie Clarke had been held scoreless by Conor Gormley, but he won the frees that McDonnell and Aaron Kernan tapped over, with former Mayo player Billy Joe Padden also hitting the target.

Tyrone continued to open up the Armagh defence and create goal chances, but Harte fired over, and midfielder Kevin Hughes blasted wide after getting on the end of a superb move involving the busy Donnelly, Harte and Kyle Coney.

Finally, the inevitable second goal arrived on 47 minutes. Another incisive move, with Harte and Donnelly once again the central figures, ended with Tommy McGuigan applying an ice-cool finish to beat Hearty for the second time.

Tyrone led by 2-10 to 0-9 and protected their lead with the help of a towering display at full-back by Joe McMahon. Armagh went a full 22 minutes without a score before McDonnell fisted Brian Mallon's cross over the bar to narrow the gap to seven.

And they were handed a lifeline when McMahon's foot block on McDonnell led to a penalty, but McDonnell's kick flew over the bar.

McDonnell pulled back another few points from frees as the Red Hands found themselves pinned back by an increasingly desperate Orchard side, but it wasn't to be.

Scorers -- Tyrone: T McGuigan 1-1, Joe McMahon 1-0, P Harte 0-4 (3f), Donnelly 0-3, S O'Neill, S Cavanagh (1f), K Coney, B McGuigan, M Swift 0-1 each; Armagh: S McDonnell 0-8 (5f, 1 pen), M O'Rourke 0-2, M Mackin, BJ Padden, A Kernan (1f) 0-1 each

Tyrone: P McConnell, M Swift, Joe McMahon , R McMenamin, Sean O'Neill, C Gormley, P Jordan, K Hughes, S Cavanagh, C Cavanagh, B McGuigan, P Harte, T McGuigan, M Donnelly, K Coney. Subs: Justin McMahon for McMenamin (33), B Dooher for T McGuigan (56), M Penrose for Coney (56), E McGinley for C Cavanagh (63), D Harte for O'Neill (64)

Armagh: P Hearty, A Mallon, B Donaghy, F Moriarty, A Kernan (0-1, f), C McKeever, P Duffy, J Lavery, K Toner, C Vernon, B J Padden, M Mackin, M O'Rourke, S McDonnell, J Clarke. Subs: T Kernan for Lavery (44), D McKenna for Duffy (50), B Mallon for Padden (56), G McParland for O'Rourke (58), J Hanratty for Vernon (63)

Referee: M Duffy (Sligo)

Sunday Indo Sport