Conor Turbitt sparkles on League debut as Armagh demolish Cavan

It may have pleasantly surprised a lot of Armagh fans, but Conor Turbitt's sparkling performance on his league debut for Armagh didn't come as a shock to Oisin O'Neill.

Conor Turbitt sparkles on League debut as Armagh demolish Cavan

[team1]ARMAGH[/team1][score1]2-18[/score1][team2]CAVAN[/team2][score2]1-8[/score2][/score]

It may have pleasantly surprised a lot of Armagh fans, but Conor Turbitt's sparkling performance on his league debut for Armagh didn't come as a shock to Oisin O'Neill.

The Crossmaglen forward kicked three points from play himself on Saturday night as Armagh gave their promotion push an early boost, while rookie Conor Turbitt helped himself to 1-6 from play. Quite a start to the 20-year-old's senior inter-county career.

“We have seen him in pre-season and we knew he could do that,” O'Neill said.

“It is up to get enough ball into him.”

The 13-point winning margin and weak display by Cavan was an early indicator these teams could be going in different directions out of Division Two.

Cavan beat Armagh in last year's Ulster semi-final replay but that already seems a lifetime ago because so much has changed in the meantime.

Key players like Dara McVeety, Conor Moynagh, Killian Clarke and Conor Rehill have not committed this year and Cian Mackey has retired.

Armagh hit five points in a row in the opening half to stretch clear and lead 0-10 to 0-5 at half time with O'Neill, Stefan Campbell, Niall Grimley and Aidan Forker all on target.

When they came out and bagged an early goal through O'Neill, after Gearoid McKiernan let a high ball into the square slip through his hands, Cavan very quickly gave up.

Armagh narrowly missed out on promotion from Division Two last year but it seems there is a sense of urgency this spring that if they are to continue improving under boss Kieran McGeeney, they really need to get up among the big boys.

“We worked really hard in pre-season and were really looking forward to this first game,” O'Neill said.

“We targeted this one from a long way out. We realised a good start takes the pressure off and we would be looking down the table rather than up.

“We only had two home games last year, this year we have three, and we are away to Laois next week so that is the next big challenge.”

Stefan Campbell banged home a 65th-minute penalty to stretch Armagh's lead out to 2-16 to 0-6, and while Cavan sub Evan Doughty's high ball somehow found its way to the net, it was no consolation on a sobering opening night for the visitors.

Armagh scorers - C Turbitt 1-6, S Campbell 1-2, O O'Neill 0-3, R O'Neill 0-3 (2f), R Grugan 0-2 (2f), A Forker, N Grimley 0-1 each

Cavan scorers - O Kiernan 0-3 (1f), E Doughty 1-0 B Magee 0-2 (1f),C Smith, G McKiernan, C Madden 0-1 each

Armagh: B Hughes; P Burns, C McCabe, O'Neill; C Cumiskey, B Donaghy, A Forker; N Grimley, S Sheridan; J Duffy, R Grugan, O O'Neill; C Turbitt, R O'Neill, S Campbell

Subs: M Shields for Duffy (53), J Og Burns for P Burns (63), J Morgan for Cumiskey (65), J Hall for R O'Neill (66)

Cavan: R Galligan; P Meade, P Faulkner, G Smith; C Brady, B Kelly, O Kiernan; K Brady, B Magee; S Smith, S Cadden, C Smith; M Reilly, G McKiernan, C Madden

Subs: E Doughty for Madden (11), O Pierson for Smith (11), L Fortune for Cadden (HT), C Smith for Magee (50)

Referee: Barry Cassidy (Derry)

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