London fightback stuns Armagh

Armagh 4-16 London 2-23

London snatched victory with a dramatic comeback at Newry today, where they came from six points behind to pip Armagh at the post in a thrilling Ulster SHC quarter-final.

Martin Finn was the Exiles’ hero, hitting a glorious 14-point haul, including the winning point from a ‘65’ deep into stoppage time, to set up a semi-final clash with Down next weekend.

The sides were level on eight occasions, before the Exiles finally broke Orchard hearts.

A 1-10 tally from Declan Coulter was not enough to save Mattie Lennon’s side from a dramatic defeat.

The sides were level on three occasions in the opening quarter, with sharpshooters Declan Coulter and London’s Martin Finn making it a head to head shoot-out, both showing deadly accuracy from frees.

The Orchard men made their first breakthrough in the 18th minute when Coulter crossed from the left for full forward Conor McCann to drill to the net past a helpless Gary McCollum.

Finn continued to show a deadly eye for goal as the Exiles refused to allow the setback to affect their focus, and they had slipped into a two points lead with a John McCarthy point when Armagh struck for a second goal.

This time it was Fiachra Bradley who found the net, striking past McCollum at the second attempt after the ‘keeper had stopped his initial effort.

Three minutes later the sliothar was in the London net again, Coulter the marksman, and his two long range frees helped the men in orange to a 3-10 to 0-13 interval lead.

Kevin McMullan got in for a London goal six minutes into the second half, and when Finn brought his tally into double figures, the deficit had been cut back from six to two.

With the wind in their backs, London grew in confidence, and further scores from Finn and Conor O’Halloran had them level midway through the half.

They were denied the lead when Joseph Burke produced a wonderful save from Mark Mythen, but Finn’s 13th score did ease them in front with 15 minutes to play.

When substitute Chris McDonnell banged in a 63rd minute goal, the Exiles were in charge, but there was still time for John Corvan to smash home Armagh’s fourth goal, before Finn floated over the winner from a ‘65’ deep into stoppage time.

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