Armagh 1-11 Dublin 2-12
Dublin made a winning start to their NFL Division One campaign with an impressive win at Armagh’s newly redeveloped Athletic Grounds.
Bernard Brogan and Diarmuid Connolly hit the goals that secured a well-deserved four-point success for Pat Gilroy’s men.
Dublin could not have wished for a better start. When Armagh full-back Brendan Donaghy gifted possession from a misplaced clearance, Diarmuid Connolly was in like a flash to collect and send a low shot to the bottom corner of the net.
They had earlier taken the lead through Michael Dara Macauley, before former Mayo player Billy Joe Padden marked his Armagh debut with his side’s opening point.
Kevin McManamon almost had a second Dublin goal, racing 50 yards to fire in a shot which was well saved by Philip McEvoy.
Bernard Brogan jinked through for a typically stylish score, but Armagh went level in the 19th minute when Charlie Vernon drilled in a goal off the underside of the crossbar.
The Ulster men were soon level, thanks to a couple of well taken Gareth Swift points, but Dublin, with Kevin McManamon displaying a tireless workrate, dominated the final 10 minutes of the half, outscoring the home side by five points to one.
Two points each from Tomas Quinn and Bernard Brogan sent them in with a 1-7 to 1-4 interval lead.
Steven McDonnell’s first point of the evening narrowed the gap, but the Dubs continued to look menacing every time they went forward, adding further points through McManamon and Connolly.
Worryingly for Armagh, Mackin was their only reliable source of scores, and his fourth point kept the home supporters spirits’ up.
They had another let-off when Declan Lally carved the opening for Connolly to fire in a shot which McEvoy saved.
That close shave inspired Armagh, who had Ciaran McKeever as a driving force from central defence. Micheal O’Rourke, Vernon and McDonnell all found the target to bring them level, before Lally shot Dublin back in front with 15 minutes to play.
McDonnell had just levelled the scores for the fifth time when Dublin struck gold with a 1-2 blast in the space of two minutes.
It was Brogan who got on the end of O’Gara’s delivery to punch past McEvoy, and virtually seal the outcome.
Armagh: P McEvoy, V Martin, B Donaghy, A Mallon, K Dyas, C McKeever, P Duffy, K Toner, C Vernon (1-1), M Mackin, BJ Padden (0-1), R Grugan, B Mallon, G Swift (0-4), S McDonnell (0-4, 2f)
Subs: F Moriarty for Martin, A Duffy for Mackin, M O’Rourke (0-1) Mallon, C Clarke for Padden,, C Watters for Grugan
Dublin: S Cluxton, A Hubbard, S Murray, M Fitzimons, D Lally (0-1), J McCarthy, P Casey, MD Macauley (0-1), D Bastick, B Cullen, K McManamon (0-2), D Connolly (1-1), T Quinn (0-2, 1 ’45). E O’Gara (0-1), B Brogan (1-3).
Subs: P Flynn (0-1) for Quinn, B Cahill for Bastick, A Brogan for Connolly, P Andrews for O’Gara, D Kelly for B Brogan.
Referee: J McQuillan (Cavan).