Easy for Armagh

IN the end, it was certainly convincing, as Armagh ran out 17-point winners in the Letterkenny sunshine against 13-man Donegal in the Ulster Hurling championship on Saturday.

Armagh had the dream start with Brian McNaughton scoring the opening goal, by taking down Paul McCormack’s pass and getting the better of Donegal goalkeeper Paul O’Brien after two minutes.

Centre-back Justin McGhee was given a second yellow before half-time and Donegal were forced to continue with only 14 men with the visitors comfortable at the break, 1-14 to 0-7 up. Donegal, thanks mainly to Kevin Campbell’s 1-8, did briefly force their way back into game during the second half. However, with seven minutes to go, Rory Gaffney rifled home his side’s second goal. Moments later, home full-back Colm Breatnach was also dismissed for a second yellow, leaving Donegal with only 13 men. Ger Enright then put the icing on the cake in the last minute with a third Armagh goal as Donegal’s defensive numbers were just too thin on the ground to cope.

DONEGAL: P O’Brien; M Patton, C Breatnach, P Horan; P Hannigan, J McGhee, B Friel; A McDermott, K Campbell (1-8, 1-8f); M McGhee, D Cullen (0-1) L Henderson (0-1); M McCann, E Organ, C Mathewson (0-2).

Subs: E McDermott for Organ (34); S Boyle for M McGhee (54).

ARMAGH: J Burke; B Mallon, E McDonnell, B Breen (0-3); B McCormack, N Curry, P Kirk; F McMullan, C Carvill; R Gaffney (1-4), G Enright (1-1), P Breen (0-8, 6f); F Bradley (0-1), B McNaughton (1-2), P McCormack (0-4, 1f).

Subs: K McKernan and B McCann for McDonnell and Bradley (43); D Carvill for Mallon (49); P Gaffney for Kirk (52); M Lennon for P Breen (55).

Referee: G Duffy (Antrim).

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