Derry 0-16 Armagh 0-16
James Kielt delivered a Man-of-the-Match display for Derry with eight points, but it wasn't enough as the Oak Leafers shared the spoils with visitors Armagh at Celtic Park, Derry tonight.
Captain Mark Lynch had a chance in the second minute of injury-time to snatch a winner, but his late free resulted in Derry's 13th wide of the night, and signalled the full-time whistle from Longford referee Fergal Kelly.
Although tied on six occasions, Armagh looked in control early on, but the Oak Leafers constantly came back.
Derry led by 0-07 to 0-06 at the interval, with Kielt firing four points.
Armagh took control on the restart, by Derry scored five out of six points to lead by the minimum with four minutes remaining.
However, a third Jamie Clarke point salvaged a draw for Armagh.
Derry manager Brian McIvor expected to field the same team which had beaten Wexford by nine points in a re-fixed encounter last weekend at Wexford Park.
However, McIvor was forced to make a late change with Barry McGoldrick withdrawing after sustaining a hamstring injury in the warm-up.
Magherafelt's Danny Heavron replacing the Coleraine man in the Oak Leafers half-forward line.
Armagh ran rampant in the opening stages and held a 0-04 to 0-00 lead after 15 minutes, with all of their scorers at this stage coming from play.
Aaron Kernan fired an early wide, before Gavin McParland opened the visitors account with a point after 54 seconds.
Clarke and Kevin Dyas followed up with quick scores as Armagh claimed a 0-03 to 0-00 lead after just five minutes.
Paul Grimley's side continued to cause the Derry defence huge problems, with keeper Thomas Mallon pulling off a sixth minute save after a rasping shot from Clarke.
Derry tried hard but their first two attacks but failed to yield a score, with the hosts firing three wides between the ninth and 14th minutes.
A second McParland point pushed Armagh 0-4 to 0-0 ahead after 15 minutes, but suddenly Derry bounced back.
The hosts claimed four unanswered points, with Charlie Kielt, Emmett McGuckin, Lee Kennedy and James Kielt on target, to level the tie for the first time after 22 minutes.
Aaron Kernan pushed Armagh back in front with his first score from a free, while Derry once again were wasteful in front of the posts.
McIvor's men brought their wides tally to seven by the interval, but also managed seven points with James Kielt outstanding as they claimed a 0-07 to 0-06 half-time lead.
Armagh took the lead on the restart with a trio of unanswered scores inside two and a half minutes, with Stefan Forker, Kernan and Stephen Harold on target.
Derry cut the gap with a James Kielt point, but Armagh continued to look good as Kernan, Forker and Declan McKenna helped them to a 0-12 to 0-08 lead by the 46th minute.
Derry never gave up with James Kielt continuing to impress while Lee Kennedy also helped cut the gap to the minimum with 15 minutes left on the clock.
Armagh claimed their first score in 11 minutes thanks to substitute Anto Duffy, to ensure nine Orchard men were on target on the night, to open up a two-point gap.
Hanratty failed to deliver a goal soon after, with Mallon pulling off a fine save, but Armagh did move 0-14 to 0-11 ahead with 12 minutes left on the clock after a third McParland point.
Derry failed to lie down, with captain Mark Lynch leading by example as they moved 0-15 to 0-14 ahead with nine minutes remaining, following four unanswered scores.
Clarke equalised following a well struck free on the right wing, and off the left of his boot, but Derry snuck ahead once again following an eighth James Kielt point.
Clarke left the sides level for the sixth time, with his third point, with two minutes of normal time left on the clock.
Derry had two chances to steal victory in injury-time, but Kielt fired an effort wide inches to the wrong side of the posts, while a last gasp free from Lynch failed to go over the target.
Scorers for Derry: J Kielt (5f) 0-08; L Kennedy 0-03; C Kielt, E McGuckin, M Lynch, D Heavron, E Lynn 0-01 each.
Scorers for Armagh: G McParland, J Clarke (1f), A Kernan (3f) 0-03 each; S Forker 0-02; K Dyas, J Hanratty, S Harold, D McKenna, A Duffy 0-01 each.
DERRY: T Mallon; G O'Kane, C McKaigue, D McBride; C Kielt, M Lynch, S L McGoldrick; Patsy Bradley, PJ McCloskey; D Heavron, J Kielt, E Lynn; B Heron, E McGuckin, L Kennedy. Subs: R Wilkinson for McGuckin (55); C McFaul for Heron (60)
ARMAGH: P McEvoy; J Morgan, J Donnelly, D McKenna; A Kernan, B Donaughy, C McKeever; J Lavery, S Harold; K Dyas, J Hanratty, C Rafferty; J Clarke, S Forker, G McParland. Subs: M Shields for Morgan (43); G McCoey for Donnelly (44); A Duffy for McKeever (49); T Kernan for Hanratty (59); B Mallon for A Kernan (64).
REFEREE: Fergal Kelly (Longford).