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Armagh lift Division 3 cup in close win with Fermanagh

Armagh 1-16

Fermanagh 0-17

By Paul Keane

Kieran McGeeney guided Armagh to victory in a Division 3 final at Fermanagh's expense for the second time in four seasons at Croke Park.

McGeeney, captain of Armagh when they won the Division 1 title in 2005, managed the Orchard to a win over Fermanagh in the third tier showpiece in 2015 and repeated the feat here.

Andrew Murnin's 54th minute goal ultimately separated the sides and he was named Man of the Match with a 1-3 tally, all from play.

Sub Ryan McShane also contributed two important points though there were some nervous moments late on when Fermanagh rallied hard.

They reduced a five-point deficit after Murnin's goal to just two late on though time simply ran out on Rory Gallagher's men.

The sides drew 0-7 apiece when they met in Round 6 and will play again in their very next game, a May 19 Ulster SFC quarter-final contest at Brewster Park.

Fermanagh manager Gallagher admitted afterwards that both teams were probably holding a little back in advance of that summer showdown.

Gallagher made a late change to his team beforehand by introducing Sean Quigley but it backfired as the experienced attacker was black carded within five minutes.

That left it to Seamus Quigley, Sean's brother, to carry the scoring burden and he blasted nine points, all from frees.

Six of those arrived in an evenly contested first-half that was level seven times and finished up at 0-8 to 0-8.

That was already a greater tally for both teams than what they managed over the full duration in their group game.

McShane and Murnin pointed for Armagh after the restart and they enjoyed a strong third quarter with further scores from Niall Grimley and the excellent Patrick Burns.

The goal was fortunate when it arrived as the ball broke kindly for Murnin to palm home after an aerial contest between Gregory McCabe and the goalkeeper.

Armagh hoped to push on from there but were unable to do so as Fermanagh finished strong in the final quarter and picked off some excellent scores.

Conall and Ryan Jones weighed in with five points between them and were to the fore late on as Fermanagh came up just shy of pulling off a great escape.


Armagh scorers: A Murnin 1-3, N Grimley 0-4 (0-3f), A Forker 0-2, P Burns 0-2, R McShane 0-2, G McCabe 0-1, B Crealy 0-1, N Rowland 0-1.

Fermanagh scorers: Seamus Quigley 0-9 (0-9f), C Jones 0-3, R Jones 0-2, D McCusker 0-1, T Corrigan 0-1, B Mulrone 0-1.

Armagh: B Hughes; B Donaghy, A McKay, C Macken; P Burns, N Rowland, G McCabe; S Sheridan, C Vernon; B Crealey, A Forker, N Grimley; Rory Grugan, Andrew Murnin, E Rafferty.

Subs: R McShane for Vernon (32), G McParland for Rafferty (47), K Dyas for Rowland (60), O MacIomhair for Grugan (70), R Owens for Macken (72).

Fermaagh: P Cadden; C Cullen, M Jones, E McHugh; B Mulrone, J McMahon, A Breen; T Clarke, E Donnelly; C McGee, D McCusker, R Jones; Sean Quigley, C Jones, Seamus Quigley.

Subs: C Corrigan for Sean Quigley (5, black card), K Connor for McHugh (h/t), D Teague for Clarke (44), T Corrigan for Breen (51), E Maguire for McMahon (63).

Referee: J Molloy (Galway).