Armagh 8-13 Leitrim 0-10
Armagh destroyed Leitrim with an eight-goal blitz at Carrick on Shannon this evening.
Eugene McVerry hit three for his side, while Jamie Clarke rattled the net twice in the last 10 minutes as Armagh flew into the third round of the qualifiers.
Paul Grimley's side were head and shoulders ahead of the home side, who looked never coped with Armagh's fluency up front.
The trimming started in the tenth minute when McVerry hit his first goal after Kevin Dyas picked him out with a splendid cross field pass to see them open out a 1-2 to 0-0 lead.
Kevin Conlon kicked a free in the 18th minute to get Leitrim off the mark, but it didn't halt Armagh's intent. Tony Kernan pointed his second free of the game moments later, but their second goal soon arrived when Jamie Clarke picked out the full-forward with a neat foot pass and he made no mistake from close range.
Armagh's goal lust continued as half-time approached and the gaps in the Leitrim rearguard began to increase. The third goal came from Kevin Dyas after a long carry through the heart of the Leitrim defence and instead of working the three-against-two advantage the Dromintee man carry on himself and easily finished past Cathal McCrann.
The Leitrim skipper for the day was forced to pick the ball out of the net for a fourth time a minute before the break when McVerry got on the end of a slick Armagh move, and Tony Kernan rounded off a dream opening half with a super point, which gave his side a 4-8 to 0-4 lead at half-time.
Things didn’t get any better for Leitrim after the restart and McVerry rounded off a fine day with his third goal in the 42nd minute after Caolan Rafferty supplied the pass.
Their sixth came less than two minutes later as wing-back Mark Shields rattled the net when Stephen Harold set him through on goal.
With time running out most teams would have taken pity on a Leitrim side under serious pressure, but instead Jamie Clarke decided to get amongst the goals.
His first and Armagh's seventh arrived in the 60th minute and three minutes later he bagged his second after fielding well from James Lavery's long delivery at the edge of the square.
It was a cruel end to Leitrim's season that had started so well with triumph in the FBD League.
However, after beating New York, defeats to London and Armagh have left a sour taste to finish.
P McEvoy; J Morgan, B Donaghy, P McKeown; A Kernan (0-4, 4f), C McKeever (capt), M Shields (1-0); J Lavery, S Harold (0-1); C Rafferty, K Dyas (1-0), E Rafferty; J Clarke (2-3), T Kernan (1-5, 3f, 1'45), E McVerry (3-0).
S Campbell for E Rafferty (27), C O'Hanlon for McVerry (48), F Moriarty for Shields (53), A Forker for C Rafferty (56), S Forker for Clarke (63).
C McCrann (capt); F McMorrow, C Egan, D Beck; S McWeeney, G Reynolds, B Prior; D Sweeney (0-1), B Brennan; P McGowan, J Glancy, P Brennan; K Conlon (0-8, 7f), R Lowe, A Croal.
R Gallagher for McGowan (6), R Cox (0-1, 1f) for Croal (h-t), C Clarke for Beck (45), G Reynolds for McMorrow (56),
Fergal Kelly (Longford)