Armagh U21 hurlers suffered defeat to an impressive Derry side on Wednesday night in Crossmaglen. The Oakleafers got off to a perfect start with a Brian Cassidy goal within seconds of throw-in. Armagh responded with Aaron Fox from a free and captain Petey McKearney with two from play. However, Derry added three points and a second goal from Cormac O’Doherty had the visitors 2-3 to 0-3 ahead after 14 minutes. Armagh responded well with a good period of play that saw scores from Shaun Toal, Joe O’Connor and Davy McCreesh. The sides traded points, with Dylan McKenna converting a free for Armagh, but in the last 8 minutes of the half, Derry took control, scoring four points, with Déaglan Foye proving to be deadly accurate from the dead ball. Only for a super block on the line by Barry Shortt, Armagh may well have fell further behind during the Derry period of dominance.
Half time Ard Mhacha 0-7 Doire 2-8
Davy McCreesh opened the scoring for Armagh in the second half, but Derry were quick to reply, before an Armagh penalty claim was denied, when Dylan McKenna appeared to be fouled by at least three Derry defenders but the referee awarded a free out. Derry converted a further two scores and a free from Davy McCreesh brought the gap down to eight. Derry again pushed on, adding two points and a third goal through Thomas Magee. Armagh did manage to raise a green flag when Connor McAnallen scored from a penalty, but Derry finished with a flurry as Armagh could only muster one further score from Joe O’Connor.
Full time Ard Mhacha 1-10 Doire 3-19
Armagh: Conleth Lavery, Barry Shortt, Aaron Fox 0-1 (0-1f), Connor McAnallen 1-0 (1-0 pen), Ryan Murray, Tiarnán Nevin, Mattie McEvoy, Petey McKearney (captain) 0-2, Martin Hughes, Conor Farrell, David McCreesh 0-3 (0-1 f), Shaun Toal 0-1, Joe O’Connor 0-2, Dylan McKenna 0-1 (0-1 f), Caolán Rice
Subs used: Niall Strain for McEvoy, Dermot Hicks for Murray, Glenn McKeown for Rice