Armagh 0-11 Mayo 1-14
James Horan’s Mayo project appears to be taking shape and offering promise of prosperous days ahead.
The westerners travelled to the Athletic Grounds and experienced little difficulty in taking both points from a previously unbeaten Armagh side.
Mayo packed too much attacking punch for the Ulster men, with in-form trio Alan Freeman, Conor Mortimer and Enda Varley hitting a combined total of 13 points.
That was after Andy Moran had given them a solid foundation with an early goal, and Armagh never really recovered after going seven points behind early on.
Freeman clipped over three points inside the opening seven minutes, and it was in the ninth minute that Moran finished low to the net after Varley had deflected David Clarke’s ’45 into his path.
They were seven ahead by the ninth minute when Varley finished off a move involving Barry Moran and centre back Donal Vaughan.
Armagh didn't get their first score until the 11th minute when Aidan Forker converted a free, and they pulled back further scores through Andy Mallon, with two frees, and Gavin McParland.
Mortimer claimed his first score, converting a free to end a 15 minute barren spell for his side.
After influential midfielder Charlie Vernon was forced out of the game by injury after 20 minutes, Armagh’s tempo waned, and when Mortimer steered another free between the posts on 28 minutes, the home side trailed by five.
Forker notched his third score, and at the break, Mayo led by 1-7 to 0-6, and Mortimer began to display his class in the early stages of the second half.
He curled over a trademark score, with Varley and wing back Lee Keegan also getting in on the act as they went eight ahead.
Armagh did succeed in turning the game back in their favour, but laboured for scores until substitute Colm Watters hammered over a couple of long range efforts.
Forker converted a ’45 after Colm Boyle had made a heroic goal-line clearance from Ryan Rafferty, and added a free to narrow the gap to three.
But in the final five minutes, Mayo lifted the siege, and two more tidy scores from Varley sealed the eal and made it a happy trip back west, with Freeman hitting a free to bring his tally to five.
Armagh: P McEvoy, A Mallon, B Donaghy, D McKenna, K Dyas, P Duffy, F Moriarty, C Vernon, M Mackin, A Forker (0-6, 4f, 1 ’45), B Mallon (0-2, 2f), A Duffy, C Rafferty, J Kingham, G McParland (0-1).
Subs: S Campbell for Vernon (20), C Watters (0-2) for B Mallon (h-t), J Lavery for McParland (55), R Rafferty for Campbell (55), M Stevenson for P Duffy (58)
Mayo: D Clarke, K Keane, G Cafferkey, K Higgins, R Feeney, D Vaughan, L Keegan (0-1), A O’Shea, B Moran, A Freeman (0-5, 1f), A Dillon, J Doherty, C Mortimer (0-4, 3f), A Moran (1-0), E Varley (0-4).
Subs: S O’Shea for B Moran (50), C Boyle for Keane (52), P Harte for A Moran (66)
Referee: M Deegan (Laois).