Thursday 23 November 2017

Grugan the hero as Armagh claim dramatic draw

Armagh 0-14 Armagh 0-14

Rory Grugan of Armagh, kicks a point from a free in the last seconds to equalise the game and send it to a replay.
Rory Grugan of Armagh, kicks a point from a free in the last seconds to equalise the game and send it to a replay.
Eugene McVerry of Armagh in action against Kieran Hughes, left, and Fintan Kelly of Monaghan.

Armagh’s Rory Grugan ensured another day out for Armagh as his last-gasp point into injury time gave the Orchard County a draw with Monaghan in this Ulster semi-final in Clones .

The teams were level seven times – including both half-time and full-time – in a typically tense Ulster derby, which will now go to a replay next Sunday, July 6.

Armagh were first on the scoreboard through Jamie Clarke, but a brace of long-range frees by Rory Beggan and one from Jack McCarron edged Monaghan ahead.

Stefan Campbell and Mark Shields kept Armagh on Monaghan’s coat-tails, before Kieran Hughes and Conor McManus found their range for the Ulster champions.

Another Beggan free opened up a three-point gap, but Tony Kernan, Aidan Forker and Campbell replied to leave Armagh on level terms at half-time on a scoreline of 0-6 apiece.

Like in the first period, Clarke opened the second-half scoring, only for McManus and substitute Stephen Gollogly to hit back for Monaghan.

Tony Kernan levelled it again before Dick Clerkin and Gollogly moved Monaghan ahead once more. A Kevin Dyas point was cancelled out by a Beggan free, only for Tony Kernan and Stefan Forker to respond.

Monaghan looked set to kick for home when Kieran Hughes, Beggan and Christopher McGuinness hit points in the space of four minutes, but Clarke and Campbell gave Armagh hope, and Grugan held his nerve from a free at the death to equalise.

Scorers for Monaghan: R Beggan 0-5 (5f), K Hughes 0-2, C McManus 0-2 (1f), S Gollogly 0-2 (1f), J McCarron 0-1, D Clerkin 0-1, C McGuinness 0-1

Scorers for Armagh: S Campbell 0-3, J Clarke 0-3 (1f), T Kernan 0-3 (2f), R Grugan 0-2 (1f), A Forker 0-1, K Dyas 0-1, M Shields 0-1

MONAGHAN: R Beggan; R Wylie, D Wylie, C Walshe; D Mone, V Corey, F Kelly; D Clerkin, D Hughes; P Donaghy, J McCarron, K Duffy; D Malone, K Hughes, C McManus (Capt.). Subs: S Gollogly for McCarron (H-T), C McGuinness for McManus (black card, 44). P McKenna for Donaghy (51), P Finlay for Malone (62), K O’Connell for Kelly (69).

ARMAGH: P McEvoy; J Morgan, C Vernon, F Moriarty; A Kernan, M Shields, C McKeever (Capt.); E Rafferty, A Findon; E McVerry, K Dyas, A Forker; J Clarke, S Campbell, K Carragher. Subs: T Kernan for Carragher (black card, 21), S Harold for Rafferty (50), S Forker for A Forker (53), R Grugan for McVerry (56), M Murray for Moriarty (64).

Referee: J McQuillan (Cavan).

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