Tuesday 20 March 2018

Murnin fires as Armagh march on

Armagh 1-15 Derry 0-14

Armagh hero Andrew Murnin. Photo: Sportsfile
Armagh hero Andrew Murnin. Photo: Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Armagh took another step towards promotion to Division 2 when they turned in a power-packed second-half performance to see off Derry at the Athletic Grounds last night.

Ethan Rafferty and Joe McElroy were both gone from the Armagh team by the 13th minute due to injuries and they began to look vulnerable as Derry launched a series of counter-attacks.

But the visitors' momentum was disrupted when Andrew Murnin fastened onto a Gregory McCabe shot that had rebounded off an upright and planted the ball in the corner of the Oak Leaf net.

That was as good as it got for Kieran McGeeney's men for the rest of the first half, though. From the 21st to the 30th minute Derry garnered five unanswered points with scores from Mark Lynch, James Kielt and Benny Heron being complemented by a brace from Bradley as the visitors surged into 0-8 to 1-4 interval lead.

But Armagh discovered fresh reserves of energy and cohesion after the break.

With Murnin a constant threat, skipper Grugan leading by example and Aidan Forker providing indomitable spirit, they racked up five scores between the 44th and 57th minutes.

Derry were restricted to sporadic raids as the dominant home side drove forward in waves and finished on a high note when Grugan sent over his sixth point of the tie from a late penalty.

This defeat adds considerably to Derry's relegation worries. Armagh's injury concerns are unrelenting, though, and must be a worry for McGeeney.

Scorers - Armagh: R Grugan 0-6 (4f); A Murnin 1-2; R Grugan 0-2 (1f); N Grimley, C Watters, A Forker, N Rowland, MacIomhair 0-1 each. Derry: E Bradley (2f), M Lynch (2f) 0-4 each; J Kielt 0-2; B Heron, C McAtamney, C McWilliams, McKaigue 0-1 each.

Armagh: B Hughes; P Burns, O Lappin, P Hughes; E English, G McCabe, J McElroy; S Sheridan, C Vernon; B Crealey, A Forker, N Grimley; R Grugan, A Murnin, E Rafferty. Subs: C Watters for Rafferty (8), R Kennedy for McElroy (13), N Rowland for Hughes (h-t), O MacIomhair for English (44), R Lappin for Murnin (67), J Cosgrove for Burns (73).

Derry: B McKinless; R Mooney, K Johnston, C McCluskey; M McEvoy, C McWilliams, C Doherty; C McAtamney, E Bradley; E Lynn, B Herron, T O'Brien; P McGrogan, M Lynch, J Kielt. Subs: K McKaigue for McCluskey (27), N Toner for O'Brien (half-time), B Rogers for Mooney (40), P Cassidy for Doherty (53), P McNeill for Rogers (56), P Hagan for Lynn (60)

Referee: D O'Mahony (Tipperary).

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