Some well worked scores in the opening 15 minutes from Adrian Flynn (2), Kevin O’Grady and a long Ben Brosnan free, had the home side leading 0-4 to 0-0. While Armagh had to wait until the 17th minute for their opening score, a Stefan Campbell pointed free, Wexford lost a golden chance of moving six clear a minute later when Kevin O’Grady fired across a gaping goal and wide.
After a further pointed Campbell free, Wexford lost midfielder Paddy Byrne to a black card on 25 minutes, leading to Armagh taking the initiative as Ethan Rafferty finished a long Tony Kernan ball to the net just on the break, giving his side a 1-5 to 0-4 interval lead.
Armagh had the upperhand on the resumption as Campbell and Aaron Findon took total control in midfield. Points from Campbell, Aidan Forker along with two from Ethan Rafferty extended their lead to 1-8 to 0-5 after 43 minutes.
While Armagh were holding control around midfield, Wexford managed to bounce back for a Kevin O’Grady pointed free, before he found the net with a tremendous left footed shot to reduce the deficit to 1-9 to 1-6 after 52 minutes. But Armagh were beginning to show their physical presence as they responded with four unanswered points through Raftery and Campbell, both frees, Charlie Vernon and sub Gavin McParland to wrest control.
Five minutes from the end it was sub Ciaron O’Hanlon who took control of a delightful Campbell crossfield move to crash a great shot past keeper Shane Roche. Wexford finished with two pointed Kevin O’Connor frees but fell way short once Armagh threw down the challenge.
WEXFORD: S Roche; P O’Keeffe, J Breen, M Furlong; J Wadding, B Malone, S Donohoe; P Byrne, C Kehoe; R Tierney, A Flynn (0-2), K O’Grady (1-2; B Brosnan (0-2,1free), K Rowe, E Nolan.
Subs: P. Kelly for Byrne B.C. 25); K O’Connor (0-2 frees) for Rowe (47); N Harney for Flynn (52); J Holmes for Wadding (58); D Murphy for O’Grady (B.C. 58).
ARMAGH: N Geoghan; A Mallon, C Vernon (0-1), M Murray; B Donaghy, F Moriarty, S Connell; A Findon, S Campbell 0-7, 6f); E Raftery (1-3, 0-1 free), A Forker (0-1), S Harold; M McKenna, C Raftery, N McConville.
Subs: T Kernan for Harold (34); M Shields for Connell B.C. 35); G McParland (0-1) for McConville (42); E McVeery for Forker (60); C O’Hanlon (1-0) for C Rafferty (63).
Referee: C Lane (Cork).