Armagh through to Ulster SHC semi-final

Armagh 2-17 Monaghan 2-7

Armagh 2-17 Monaghan 2-7

Armagh finished strongly at Pairc Esler to avoid an upset and book their place in the Ulster SHC semi-final.

Monaghan produced a spirited fightback to narrow the gap to a single point midway through the second half, but a Neil Duffy goal sparked the Orchard men into action.

Paul McCormack steered over two early points for Armagh, with Stephen Lambe and Mickey McHugh, who had a penalty deflected over the bar by goalkeeper Simon Doherty, responding for Monaghan.

Armagh regained the lead with a superb individual score from Conor Corvan, and went on to enjoy a period of dominace, during which they opened uyp a four points lead, with scores from Donal Carville, Ryan Gaffney and centre back Ruairi McGrattan.

Gary Boyd and Lambe foraged to create scoring opportunities for a wasteful Monagan side, which went almost 20 minutes without a score, until Brian McGuigan scrambled home a 29th minute goal to narrow the gap to a single point.

But four minutes later, Armagh hit a goal, Corvan cutting in from to left to drill home

a firm finish.

Armagh led by 1-8 to 1-3 at the break, and stretched the advantage through Gaffney and Moen.

For the second time, Monaghan’s McHugh could only manage a point from a penalty, but they did grab a second goal when Lambe gave Doherty no chance with a bullet-like shot in the 44th minute.

Substitute Fergal Rafter swept over a free from long range to reduce the deficit to a single point with 20 minutes to play.

But Armagh struck for their second goal in the 50th minute when substitute Neil Duffy finished Barry McCormack’s free to the net.

And they finished strongly with a string of stylish points form Carville, Gaffney and Michael Lennon.

Armagh: S Doherty, B Mallon, N Curry, F Woods, JJ Hughes, R McGrattan (0-1), B McCormack (0-1, f), D Carville (0-2), M Moen (0-2), C Carvill, P Heaney, R Gaffney (0-6, 4f), C Corvan (1-2), P McCormack (0-2, 1f), M Lennon (0-1).

Subs: N Duffy (1-0) for P McCormack (46), C Reid for Heaney (50), T Duffy for Lennon (66), A Mackle for Corvan (66)

Monaghan: H Byrne, A Lambe, P Murphy, P Treanor, M Treanor, P Dowdall, J McHugh, G Boyd, T Hilliard, S Lambe (1-1, 0-1f), S Leonard, E MacSuibhne, B McGuigan (1-0), M McHugh 0-3, 0-2 pen), R Meegan (0-2).

Subs: G Dooley for A Lambe (25), F Rafter (0-1, f) for MacSuibhne (43), PJ Boyle for M McHugh (65)

Referee: D Magee (Down).

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