Saturday 21 April 2018

Marren penalty plucks a draw from Orchard

Sligo 1-14 Armagh 2-11

DCU were hot favourites for the game
DCU were hot favourites for the game Newsdesk Newsdesk

Armagh discovered that returning to Division Two will be no cakewalk as they were held to a draw by Sligo's brilliant recovery at Markievicz Park.

The home side came back from a six-point deficit to dig out a draw thanks to Adrian Marren's converted penalty in the sixth minute of time added on.

The match official spotted a tug on substitute Stephen Coen's jersey as the enigmatic attacker tried to get on the end of a Brian Egan ball.

Marren was cool from the spot - to give him a personal haul of 1-6.

Armagh were leading by six points, 2-10 to 0-10, with 11 minutes of the second half left. But in the next 17 minutes, which included six of added time, Kieran McGeeney's charges only scored once more - a fifth point from free-taker Ethan Rafferty - as Sligo hit back with 1-4.

Rafferty's 23rd-minute goal was a peach - it put Armagh 1-4 to 0-4 up - but he missed a crucial free deep in stoppage-time, just one of several wasted opportunities that the visitors were left to regret.

Raiding corner-back Mark Shields finished off a thrilling move for Armagh's second goal - in the 49th minute - as Armagh seemed set to cut loose after struggling to shake off a dogged Sligo in the opening half.

Sligo, who played in fits and starts, stayed within reach of their opponents in the first period and were only a point behind, 1-5 to 0-7, at half-time after good scores from Adrian Marren and Niall Murphy.

SCORERS - Sligo: A Marren 1-6 (1-0 pen, 4f); N Murphy 0-3; M Breheny 0-2 (2f); K Cawley, A McIntyre, S Coen 0-1 each.

Armagh: E Rafferty 1-5 (4f); S Campbell 0-4; M Shields 1-0; C Higgins, O O'Neill 0-1 each.

SLIGO: A Devaney 6; N Gaughan 5, K McDonnell 6, E McHugh 5; K Cawley 6, N Ewing 6, G O'Kelly-Lynch 5; A McIntyre 8, R Donovan 6; C Davey 5, M Breheny 5, J Kelly 6; P O'Connor 5, A Marren 7, N Murphy 6. Subs: S Gilmartin 5 for E McHugh (h-t), K Cawley 5 for Kelly (49), S Coen 6 for Breheny (54), B Egan 5 for Davey (64), L Nicholson for Gaughan (70+1)

ARMAGH: M McNiece 5; M Shields 7, C Vernon 5, A McKay 5; S Heffron 5, N Rowland 6, C Higgins 5; S Sheridan 6, B Crealey 6; A Duffy 5, C White 5, S Campell 8; O O'Neill 5, E Rafferty 7, O Mac Íomhair 5. Subs: P Hughes 5 for Higgins (14); C O'Hanlon 5 for White (ht), J Clarke 5 for Mac Íomhair (47), N Grimley 5 for Crealey (55); G McParland 5 for O'Neill (66).

Ref: Patrick Neilan (Roscommon).

Irish Independent

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