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First league win for Armagh

February 25, 2019

 ● Allianz National league Division 2 Round 4 Armagh 1-15 v Tipperary 0-12

A Charlie Vernon goal after 19 minutes, soon followed by the sending of of Tipp’s Brian Fox set Armagh up for their first league win of the campaign with a comfortable 1-15 to 0-12 victory.

Depleted Tipperary faced a home side who had the suspended Jamie Clarke back in the team and also made 2 late changes to the selected team with Paul Hughes and Charlie Vernon in for Mark Shields and Ryan McShane. The visitors kept in touch with their hosts, through placed balls, as their first point from play never arrived until Liam McGrath scored their 10th point in the 55th minute.

Three minutes after the throw-in Stefan Campbell pointed Armagh into the lead but a Conor Sweeney free drew Tipp level. Three points on the trot for Armagh in as many minutes from Charlie Vernon, Rian O’Neill and a converted “45” by Niall Grimley was replied to by a second for the Premier County from a Liam McGrath free to leave it double scores 4-2 after 12 minutes. That 2 point deficit was as close as Tipperary got to Armagh for the remainder of the match as 1-2 in a 4 minute spell widened the gap to 7 points after Rory Grugan and Jamar Hall registered points Jamie Clarke’s unselfish pass set up Vernon’s 19th-minute goal. Although Tipp’s reply to the goal was a McGrath free their hopes of back to back wins at the Athletic Grounds were in tatters following a straight red card for Fox. Grugan and Sweeney traded pointed frees before a second Grimley point gave Armagh a 1-8 to 0-4 lead but a hat-trick of McGrath frees ate into the deficit and the opening half scoring concluded with a second point from play from O’Neill to leave Armagh 1-9 to 0-7 at the break.

For the second half Kieran McGeeney replaced James Morgan with Ryan Kennedy with his Orchard charges resuming where they had left off as Rory Grugan and Paul Hughes registered the two opening points of the half with Joe McElroy brought on for Aidan Forker. Two Sweeney frees were sandwiched in between by a second point for Campbell as Tipp’s wait for a first score from play arrived courtesy of McGrath. A Grimley pointed free brought a reply from play from Dan O’Meara as Cullyhanna duo Pearse Casey and Aidan Nugent were given some game time replacing Mackin and Clarke. Rian O’Neill registered his third minor from play and just before 4 minutes of added time was posted Grimley converted his second “45” to take the Orchard tally to 1-15 but it would be left to the trusty boot of McGrath to point the last score of the game to leave the final score at 1-15 to 0-12. The late introduction of Ethan Rafferty for O’Neill is another plus for Armagh as this first league win coupled with the other results in the division has them up to fourth in the table just 2 points behind the league leaders and yet only a point clear of the second relegation place.

Armagh Scorers- Niall Grimley 0-4, Charlie Vernon 1-1, Rian O’Neill 0-3, Rory Grugan 0-3 Stefan Campbell 0-2, Jamar Hall 0-1, Paul Hughes 0-1

Tipperary Scorers-Liam McGrath 0-7, Conor Sweeney 0-4, Dan O Meara 0-1

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