Leaderless Armagh fail to show

July 20, 2010

Like an army going into battle the loss of their general can have a devestating effect. So be it in the case of defending Ulster minor champions Armagh who literally failed to show up performance wise against Tyrone who were very impressive 1-14 to 0-5 winners. The non apearance through injury of team captain Peter Carragher left Armagh leaderless throughout the field as they were outplayed in all sectors as Tyrone led 9-2 at half time Aaron Findon came into midfield for Carragher but with partner Conor Gough they made no impression against Conor Grugan and Harry Og Conlon. Indeed Findon was replaced by Dominic McParland after 20 minutes. Ronan O’Neill (2), John McCullagh (2), Eunan Deeney (2) notched  a brace of first half points each with Niall Sludden, Richard Donnelly and Grugan making up the first half total against an Armagh team that never clicked into gear with Ryan Rafferty opening their account on 11 minutes to make it 4-1 with their second score coming from Paul McGeown within 2 minutes of the interval whistle.

A second converted “45” from Donnelly opened the second half scoring followed by one from Conlon before McGeown got Armagh’s first score from play 10 minutes after the restart. Ryan Devlin scored for Tyrone before Armagh substitute Ryan Conlon pointed and Tyrone keeper Mark McReynolds denied Armagh a much need goal injection by saving from Colin Stevenson. Armagh net minder Matthew McNeice made an even better save at the other end to deny Devlin a goal but was left helpless a few minutes later as Devlin finally raised a green flag following good work by midfielder Conlon. Game set and match to Tyrone 1-12 to 0-4 Armagh’s Conlon notched his second point but it was Tyrone substitute Dara Donnelly who had the final say with the last two points of the match. Tyrone come of age in terms of Ulster minor titles by reaching 21 while Armagh go into a quarter final meeting with Cork on July 31.

Armagh – M. McNeice; R. McCaughley; C. Hoey; R. Finnegan; D. Nugent; J. King; N. McConville; A. Findon; C. Gough; M. McKenna; A. Forker; B. Seeley; C. Stevenson; P. McGeown (0-2); R. Rafferty

Subs D. McParland for Findon; C. Trainor for Seeley; P. Casey for McParland; R. Conlon (0-2) for McKenna