Armagh secure NHL Division 2B title with victory over Down
DIVISION 2B FINAL: Down 1-15 Armagh 0-20
ARMAGH won promotion to Division 2A of the Allianz National Hurling League after beating rivals Down in the 2B final today.
Played in Dundalk the Orchard side trailed early in the game as Danny Toner struck four of the game’s first five points.
Armagh, who lost to Down in the opening round of the League, showed much more hunger and conviction but they relied on the sharpshooting of Ryan Gaffney who finished top-scorer with 11 points (10 from frees).
Armagh led 0-12 to 0-07 at half-time and were denied a goal soon after the break thanks to Down goalkeeper Stephen Keith pulling off a tremendous save from Declan Coulter’s penalty.
The Mourne men rallied with points from Toner and Rian Branagan and a goal from substitute Chris Egan to close the gap but their chances were hampered after Ruairi Campbell was sent off on 45 minutes.
And at the other end Armagh’s Coulter, Ryan Gaffney and John Corvan displayed composure in front of the posts, which was enough to see them win the title, which was collected by captain Cahal Carvill.
DOWN: S Keith, C O’Prey, P Flynn, S Ennis, J McManus, A O’Prey, J McGrath, C Woods, S Nicholson, F Conway, D Hughes, R Branagan, S Dineen, D Toner, C Mageen.
Subs: C Egan for Conway (43), P Sheehan for A O’Prey (48), R Campbell for R Brannigan (53), J Doran for S Dineen (63),
Yellow cards: J McManus (22), Ennis (68), P Hughes for C Toner (70+1)
Red cards: C Clifford (70)
Scorers: D Toner (0-7, 4f), C Egan (1-0), J McGrath (0-2), S Nicholson (0-2), R Brannigan (0-1)
ARMAGH: S Doherty, C Clifford, A McGuinness, C Devlin, K McKernan, S Gaffney, C Toner, S Renaghan, J Corvan, R Gaffney, D Coulter, D Carvill, C Carvill, E McGuinness, C Corvan.
Subs: C Devlin for E McGuinness (45), P McKearney for John Corvan (66),
Yellow cards: S Gaffney (7)
Red cards: R Campbell (45), C Mageean (70).
Scorers: R Gaffney (0-11, 10f), D Coulter (0-4), S Renaghan (0-2), J Corvan (0-1), C Corvan (0-1), C Devlin.
Referee: Patrick Murphy (Carlow).