Ulster MFC quarter-final: Armagh waltzed their way into the Ulster MFC semi-finals courtesy of an unexpectedly easy win over Cavan at St Tighernach’s Park, Clones.
Armagh were a class apart in the second half, after being level five points apiece at the interval.
The second half was a different story though as the winners-elect held their opponents to a single point, scored by sub Harry O’Neill, eight minutes from time.
Cavan forced the pace for the most part in the first half but flattered to deceive in securing a 0-5 to 0-2 lead after 21 minutes. Indeed, it was Armagh who were more dangerous going forward, with corner-forward Ryan Hughes particularly incisive.
Cavan had a major let-off three minutes from the break when Jack Rafferty burst through but his point-blank shot was well saved by Cavan keeper Fegan.
Hughes was a constant thorn in Cavan’s side and his two first-half points were arguably the pick of the 10 scored, as the sides went in at the break level, at 0-5 apiece.
The war of attrition continued in the second half but the wetter the sod became, the more Armagh’s grip on the middle third of the field grew.
Substitute Conor Cullen sealed Cavan’s fate with a sweetly-taken penalty in the 52nd minute. Armagh finished with a beautiful brace of points from Oisin O’Neill.
CAVAN: M Fegan; D Wilson, C Daly, J McMahon; E Sommerville, M McKenna, C O’Reilly (0-1); D Brady (0-1, f), B Magee (0-1); P Smith, B Sheanon, R Connolly; S Hendrick, C Bradley (0-1), T Galligan.
Subs: D Gannon (0-1) for B Sheanon (inj, 20); D McEnroe for B Magee (45); H O’Neill (0-1) for S Hendrick (45); J Brady for R Connolly (54); S McGeough for M McKenna (57).
ARMAGH: R Kearney; F Quinn, A Rushe, C Donnelly; C Boylan, C McKinney, C McNicholl; J Og Burns, S Conlon (0-2); J Rafferty, O O’Neil (0-5, 2f)), K Mallon; R Hughes (0-2), P Quinn C McConville (0-2).
Subs: Conor Cullen (1-2, 1f) for P Quinn (34); R McKeown for R Hughes (53); C Higgins for J Rafferty (59)
Referee: S Laverty (Antrim)