Armagh cruise to victory as strike from McKeever helps ease nerves
Armagh 1-14 Antrim 1-9
A POWERFUL first-half performance from Armagh helped them cruise to a comfortable five-point triumph over Antrim on Saturday night.
A goal from Mark McKeever on 10 minutes helped the home side to a commanding 1-10 to 0-4 lead at half-time, with Rian Lennon scoring all of his side's first-half points.
Armagh then suffered a double blow within the space of 60 seconds at opposite ends of the pitch.
Full-forward McKeever was forced off the pitch after picking up a dead leg and then a goal from Calum Higgins on 40 minutes raised the real possibility of an Antrim comeback.
Higgins rattled a goal past Shea Magill moments after Glenravel attacker Lennon had landed a fine point from play.
However, the home side always had enough in hand to get the job done.
Despite the best efforts of Lennon - who finished with an impressive 0-9 to his credit, including three points from play - Armagh were able to keep the Saffrons at arm's length.
Caolan Reavey and substitute Niall Dummigan landed late insurance points as the Orchard County advance to face Donegal in the next round.
Scorers: Armagh: M McKeever 1-2, C Reavey, D O'Callaghan (3f) 0-3 each, C Donnelly, O King 0-2 (2f), A Garvey, N Dummigan 0-1 each. Antrim: R Lennon 0-9 (6fs), C Higgins 1-0.
Armagh - S Magill; P McGrane, R Shortt, R Kearney; L Rice, S McVerry, R French; A Garvet, D O'Callaghan; M McConville, C Donnelly, J Cunningham; C Reavey, M McKeever, O King. Subs: D McMullen for Cunningham (25), O McKeown for Kearney (HT), N Dummigan for McKeever (41), D McCarthy (50), S Vallely for McGrane (60).
Antrim - J Rodgers: R Carleton, E Irvine, M Ferris; R Hagan, E Higgins, S O'Callaghan; J McNally, D McNicholl; R McKillop, S Madden, C Higgins; P McLaughlin, R Boyle, R Lennon. Subs: C Killough for O'Callaghan (36), A Scullion for McKillop (50), M Lynch for Madden (63).
REF - M Moore (Down)