Byrne black card allows Armagh to seize initiative
Armagh 2-13 Wexford 1-8
ARMAGH overcame a nervous opening in which they fell four points adrift inside the opening 15 minutes to eventually overpower the home side at Wexford Park.
Some well-worked scores in the opening minutes resulted in points from Adrian Flynn (2), Kevin O'Grady and a long Ben Brosnan free, which gave Wexford an early edge.
While Armagh had to wait until the 17th minute for their opening score, a Stefan Campbell pointed free, Wexford lost a golden chance of moving six points clear one minute later when Kevin O'Grady fired across a gaping goal and wide.
After a further pointed Campbell free, Wexford lost midfielder Paddy Byrne to a black card on 25 minutes, leading to Armagh to take the initiative as Ethan Rafferty finished a long Tony Kernan ball to the net, giving his side an interval lead of 1-5 to 0-4.
Armagh had the upper hand on the resumption as Campbell and Aaron Findon took total control in midfield. Points from Campbell, Aidan Forker and Ethan Rafferty extended their side into a 1-8 to 0-5 lead after 43 minutes.
While Armagh were holding control around the middle third of the pitch, Wexford managed to bounce back for a Kevin O'Grady pointed free, before he found the net with a tremendous left-footed shot to reduce the deficit to 1-9 to 1-6 after 52 minutes. But Armagh were beginning to show their physical presence as they responded with four unanswered points through Raftery and Campbell, both frees, Charlie Vernon and sub Gavin McParland to wrest control of the game. Sub Ciaron O'Hanlon took control of a Campbell cross-field move before crashing a great shot into the opposite corner of the net.
Man of the Match: Stefan Campbell
Wexford - S Roche 7; P O'Keeffe 7, J Breen 7, M Furlong 7; J Wadding 5, B Malone 7, S Donohoe 7; P Byrne 5, C Kehoe 7; R Tierney 6, A Flynn 6, K O'Grady 7; B Brosnan 7, K Rowe 6, E Nolan 6. Subs: P. Kelly 6 for Byrne (BC, 25); K O'Connor 6 for Rowe (47); N Harney 6 for Flynn (52); J Holmes 6 for Wadding (58); D Murphy 6 for O'Grady (BC, 58).
Armagh - N Geoghegan 7; A Mallon 7, C Vernon 7, M Murray 6; B Donaghy 7, F Moriarty 7, S Connell 6; A Findon 7, S Campbell 8; E Raftery 7, A Forker 7, S Harold 6; M McKenna 6, C Raftery 7, N McConville 6. Subs: T Kernan 7 for Harold (34); M Shields 7 for Connell (BC, 35); G McParland 7 for McConville (42); E McVeery 6 for Forker (60); C O'Hanlon 7 for C Rafferty (63).
Ref - C Lane (Cork)
Scorers - Wexford: K O'Grady 1-2 (1f), B Brosnan (1f), A Flynn, K O'Connor (2f) 0-2 each. Armagh: S Campbell 0-7 (6f), E Raftery 1-3 (1f), C O'Hanlon 1-0, C Vernon, A Forker, G McParland 0-1 each.