Ulster SHC Semi-finals: Clincal Carvill settles it for Orchard
Armagh 1-17 Down 2-12
It was a relief for Armagh when the full-time whistle sounded because despite playing against 14 men they only edged in front with David Carvill's sixth free in the 73rd minute.
It was a brave effort by Down who lost Caolan Bailie to a red card after 25 minutes yet responded to lead by three on 62 minutes. But it was clear that Down had run out of gas in the last 10 minutes without options to withstand the Armagh revival.
Captain David Carvill top-scored for the winners with seven frees, but it was brother Cathal who was most influential, playing on the edge when Bailie was dismissed.
Playing with the wind, Armagh got off to a good start and after 15 minutes led by 0-4 to 0-2. Then Mal Magee shot past Simon Doherty to put Down ahead.
Points were exchanged but in the 32nd minute Magee flashed a second shot to the Armagh net, giving Down a 2-5 to 0-7 lead at the turnaround.
The gap was three points when Down goalkeeper Stephen Keith mishit a pass and Dylan McKenna couldn't miss.
David Carvill pointed a free to put Armagh in front before Down introduced Gareth 'Magic' Johnston to the attack. And it seemed to work as points from Nicholson, Egan, Woods and O'Prey (two) put the Ardsmen three up.
But by now the Down tank was empty and Cathal Carvill notched two points, and McKenna another, before the captain finished the job.
Scorers - Armagh: D Carvill 0-7 (7f); D McKenna 1-2; C Carvill 0-4; C Devlin 0-2; C Corvan; F Bradley 0-1 each. Down: M Magee 2-1; C O'Prey 0-4 (3f); P Sheehan 0-3 (3f); C Mageean, C Egan, C Woods, S Nicholson; 0-1 each.
Armagh: S Doherty 7; C Clifford 7, N Curry 8, D Bridges 7; J Corvan 7, A McGuinness 8, T Nevin (7); C Carvill 8, C Devlin 7; D Carvill 8, F Bradley 7, C Corvan 7; D Magee 6, C Gorman 6, D McKenna 7. Subs: O Curry for Bridges, S Keenan for Gorman, P McKearney for Magee, D Gaffney for Devlin.
Down: S Keith 6; J McManus 7, M Hughes 7, S Ennis 7; A Bell 7, C Woods 7, M Ennis 7; C O'Prey 7, D McManus 8; C Egan 7, M Magee 8, C Bailie 6; C Mageean 6, S Nicholson 6, P Sheehan 6. Sub: G Johnston for Sheehan.
Ref - Colum Cunning (Antrim).