Galway upset the odds against Armagh

Galway 1-11 Armagh 0-9

Galway upset the odds against Armagh

Galway 1-11 Armagh 0-9

Galway will meet Cork in Croke Park next weekend after completing a fantastic victory over a highly fancied Armagh side at Pearse Stadium this afternoon.

The hungrier, more determined Tribesmen crucially kept Armagh goal-less and kicked the vital scores when the pressure came on them in the second half.

Anyone who had watched both teams' last championship matches would hardly have predicted the opening 10 minutes as Galway – who struggled desperately to shake off minnows Waterford – raced into a three-point lead.

Johnny Duane, starting at corner-back, got Galway off the mark with a fisted point in the fourth minute, following a flowing move that he started himself at the other end of the pitch.

The lead extended to three points by the 10th minute when Michael Meehan slotted two close-in frees.

But Paul Grimley's side found their feet soon after and kicked two quick points in a row from a Tony Kernan free and a sweet Caolan Rafferty score from the right.

Galway looked an inspired team though, and with Sean Denvir rampaging from wing-back and Danny Cummins looking a hand full in the full-forward line the soon began to dominate again.

Sean Armstrong was also having one of his better halves and he kicked a long-range free in the 20th minute to restore Galway's two-point cushion.

Ciaran McKeever landed a typical score on the burst for the Orchard County a minute later, but Cummins hit a huge blow for the Tribesmen after 24 minutes when he fisted Paul Conroy's booming free to the net, albeit with doubt of a square ball infringement.

The score lifted Galway and Michael Martin hit a couple of great scores from play to give them a six-point advantage.

However, Armagh rallied just before the break as points from Aaron Kernan and Stefan Campbell saw them trail by 1-6 to 0-5 at half-time.

With Grimley's lashing fresh in the minds, Armagh raced into action in the second-half, turning the heat up on the Tribesmen.

Jamie Clarke was looking very dangerous at the Armagh end, but with Donal O'Neill tracking his every move the Corssmaglen man continued to be held scoreless.

But Campbell, who was introduced in the 28th minute kicked his second point of the game in the 40th minute.

It was quickly followed by Ethan Rafferty's first score to put just two between the sides.

But at the other end Martin kicked a splendid point from an acute angle to settle Galway, before a pair of frees from Meehan either side of another great score from Campbell opened out Galway's four-point advantage again.

From there on, Galway were unstoppable as Paul Conroy and Gary Sice kicked great points from play to clinch an unlikely victory.

Scorers:

Galway: M Meehan 0-4 (4f), M Martin 0-3, D Cummins 1-0, P Conroy 0-1, S Armstrong 0-1 (1f), J Duane 0-1, G Sice 0-1

Armagh: S Campbell 0-3, C McKeever 0-2, T Kernan 0-1 (1f), A Kernan 0-1 (1f), E Rafferty 0-1, C Rafferty 0-1

Galway: M Breathnach; J Duane, F Hanley, D O'Neill; S Denvir, G O'DonnellG Sice; P Conroy, T Flynn; J O'Brien, S Armstrong, C Doherty; M Martin, M Meehan, D Cummins.

Subs: C Forde for O'Neill (43-45 blood), S Walsh for O'Brien (57), F O Curraoin for Armstrong (62), M Farragher for Sice (63-65 blood), A Varley for Meehan (67), M Farragher for Martin (68), M Martin for Conroy (68 blood).

Armagh: P McEvoy; P McKeown, B Donaghy, J Morgan; A Kernan, C McKeever, M Shields; J Lavery, S Harold; C Rafferty, K Dyas, E Rafferty; J Clarke, E McVerry, T Kernan.

Subs: S Campbell for C Rafferty (28), K Toner for Harold (33), F Moriarty for McKeown (h-t), A Forker for McVerry (55), S Forker for E Rafferty (62).

Referee: Rory Hickey (Clare).

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