Monday 19 March 2018

The game at a glance

Man of the match

Charlie Vernon (Armagh)

All the contenders were on Armagh's side. Vernon's release to midfield for the second half gave him impetus and his powerful early drive for the opening score was a measure of things to come.

Turning Point

Paddy Bradley's goal should have given Derry a decisive advantage, but three of the next four points came from Steven McDonnell's boot.

Talking Point

An Ulster preliminary-round match in Celtic Park can only mean one thing -- frees -- 67 in all. Not the launch to the championship anyone wanted.

Ref Watch

A tale of two penalties and many, many frees for Maurice Deegan. The official strictly enforced the new underhand hand-pass and Derry suffered more.

What they said

Paddy O'Rourke (Armagh manager):

"Maybe we would have liked to win it with a bit more style but it was always going to be a bit tense.

Damian Cassidy (Derry manager):

"The facts are we haven't done well. We lost the first game in the championship and there is no credit in that for our team or for myself."

Match statistics

Wides: Armagh 7 (3), Derry 5 (2)

Frees: Armagh 27 (18), Derry 40 (18)

Yellow Cards: Armagh 5 ( S McDonnell 17, M Mackin 47, C McKeever 58, B Mallon 61, F Moriarty 64), Derry 5 (K McGuckin 12, D McBride 17, E Bradley 28, 54, M Bateson 56)

Red Cards: Derry 1 (E Bradley 54).

What next?

Armagh meet Monaghan in Casement Park on June 6 in an Ulster quarter-final; Derry play a first-round Qualifier on the weekend of June 26/27.

Irish Independent

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