Captain fantastic Micheal Kelly struck gold with a sensational goal in stoppage time to win the Nicky Rackard Cup for Roscommon. Kelly hit a 20-metre free to the net to give the Rossies a dream finish to a game they looked destined to lose once sub Cathal Kelly was sent off with 15 minutes to play.
Adrian Murphy's goal after five minutes gave Roscommon a good start, but Armagh were never far away, and they burst into action with a 1-3 blast between the 24th and 30th minutes. David Carvill and Conor Corvan thumped over points, and on 30 minutes, Eoin McGuinness slipped the ball inside for Cathal Carvill to smash to the roof of the net.
Armagh led by 1-8 to 1-5 at the interval and stretched the advantage to five through Gaffney, but the Rossies hit back with scores from John Moran and Jerry Fallon. They lost Kelly to a straight red but managed to narrow the gap to a single point through Fallon. Armagh could not live with the passion of their opponents and could only manage a couple of Gaffney frees in the closing stages. Then came that sensational finish, and Armagh hearts were broken.
Scorers - Roscommon: A Murphy 1-1, M Kelly 1-0 (f), J Fallon 0-4 (4f), J Moran 0-3, J Coyle 0-2, C Egan, K Kilkenny 0-1 each. Armagh: R Gaffney 0-8 (8f), C Carvill 1-0, D Coulter 0-2, N Curry ('65), D Carvill, E McGuinness, C Corvan 0-1 each.
Roscommon: N Fallon; I Delaney, P Kellehan, L Kilcline; D Leonard, M Kelly, T Seale; C Dolan, J Kilkenny; J Moran, R O'Meara, J Fallon; C Egan, K Kilkenny, A Murphy. Subs: C Kelly for Dolan (33), J Coyne for Seale (h-t), C Kenny for Egan (43), E Flanagan for Murphy (60)
Armagh: S Doherty; S Renaghan, C Clifford, C Devlin; K McKernan, N Curry, S Gaffney; J Corvan, D Coulter; R Gaffney, C Carvill, D Carvill; M Moan, E McGuinness, C Corvan. Subs: C Gorman for Moan (52), C Magee for McGuinness (62), G Fallon for J Fallon (63), A McGuinness for D Carvill (65).
Referee: J O'Brien (Tipperary)
Sunday Indo Sport