Saturday 20 January 2018

Duffy strike stops Farney fightback in its tracks

Armagh 2-17 Monaghan 2-7
Ulster SHC

Armagh finished strongly to make it through to the last four after a tough battle with Monaghan at Pairc Esler.

The Farney men threatened an upset when they closed to within a point midway through the second half, but the Orchard side sensed the danger and pushed on for victory with a goal from substitute Neil Duffy.

Monaghan held their own in the opening 15 minutes, when Mickey McHugh had a penalty deflected over the bar, and Stephen Lambe converted a free. However, Paul McCormack's two early points were added to in a productive spell which saw Armagh go four clear.

But Monaghan were back in it when Brian McGuigan scrambled home a 29th-minute goal.

However, the Armagh responded with a solo goal from Conor Corvan four minutes later, Armagh led by 1-8 to 1-3 at the break and stretched the advantage through Ryan Gaffney and Martin Moen.

For the second time, Monaghan's McHugh could only manage a point from a penalty, but they did grab a second goal when Lambe gave Doherty no chance with a bullet-like shot in the 44th minute.

Substitute Fergal Rafter swept over a free from long range to reduce the deficit to a single point with 20 minutes to play, but Armagh struck for their second goal in the 50th minute when substitute Duffy finished Barry McCormack's free to the net and finished with a string of stylish points.

Man of the Match: C Corvan (Armagh)

Scorers -- Armagh: C Corvan 1-2, N Duffy 1-0, R Gaffney 0-6 (4f), D Carville, P McCormack (1f), M Moen 0-2 each, R McGrattan, B McCormack (f), M Lennon 0-1 each. Monaghan: S Lambe 1-1 (0-1f), B McGuigan 1-0, M McHugh 0-3 (0-2 pen), R Meegan 0-2, F Rafter 0-1 (f)

Armagh -- S Doherty 6; B Mallon 6, N Curry 7, F Woods 6; JJ Hughes 6.5, R McGrattan 7, B McCormack 7; D Carville 7.5, M Moen 6; C Carvill 6, P Heaney 5, R Gaffney 7; C Corvan 8, P McCormack 7.5, M Lennon 7. Subs: N Duffy 6 for P McCormack (46), C Reid 5 for Heaney (50), T Duffy 5 for Lennon (66), A Mackle 4 for Corvan (66)

Monaghan -- H Byrne 7; A Lambe 5, P Murphy 6, P Treanor 7; M Treanor 6, P Dowdall 7, J McHugh 7; G Boyd 6, T Hilliard 6.5; S Lambe 7.5, S Leonard 6, E MacSuibhne 5.5; B McGuigan 6.5, M McHugh 6, R Meegan 7. Subs: G Dooley 6 for A Lambe (25), F Rafter 6 for MacSuibhne (43), PJ Boyle 5 for M McHugh (65)

Ref -- D Magee (Down)

Irish Independent

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