Danny Cummins’ fisted goal in the seventh minute of an allotted 4 minutes of injury-time stole a point for Galway in what was a hugely encouraging display by Armagh.
Armagh finished with 13 men but they led by eight points after 57 minutes in the Athletic Grounds and looked certain to boost their hopes of avoiding relegation with Stefan Campbell hitting an inspirational 1-9. However Kevin Walsh’s side hit an unanswered 1-5 in the closing stages in a thrilling finish.
The referee signalled four minutes of stoppage time but with almost seven minutes of injury time played, Sean Denvir’s high ball into the square was fisted in at the back post by Cummins to salvage a precious point for the visitors.
Galway couldn’t handle the brilliant Campbell and he put Armagh 0-3 to 0-1 ahead after nine minutes. Joe McElroy missed an easy goal chance for Armagh early on and Galway punished the lapse when Hoare scored a long-range point, and Damien Varley finished off a superb Shane Walsh crossfield pass to level it at three points each.
Armagh responded with four points in a row in a four-minute spell. Gavin McParland nailed the first before Campbell scored three points in a breathtaking two minutes.
By this stage Cathal Sweeney was moved over to try and mark him but fared no better than Kyne, Campbell shifting onto his left to score two points off his weaker foot. From 0-7 to 0-3 down, Galway scored five of the next six points to draw level at 0-8 all through five different scorers.
Damien Comer, Hoare, Liam Silke, Shane Walsh and Paul Conroy were all on target and despite hitting six wides in the opening half, some from easy shooting positions, the Tribesmen were back on level terms.
Their refusal to drop a sweeper back in front of Campbell proved costly again when the Clann na Gael attacker pointed his seventh point of the half from play. Gary Sice’s tap-over injury-time free made it 0-9 apiece at the interval.
Shane Walsh scored straight from the throw-in to put Galway ahead for the first and only time in the game. However Galway then went 25 minutes without a score – during which time Armagh racked up 1-6 without reply including Campbell’s 52nd minute penalty.
The sides were level at 0-10 when Ethan Rafferty was sent-off for a second yellow card and Armagh raised their game significantly after going down to 14 men. Colm Watters scored a brace with Brendan Donaghy and Miceal McKenna also on target with Galway unable to utilise the spare man.
When Cathal Sweeney pulled down Campbell in the square, the forward confidently dispatched the penalty low into the net and chipped over a free to put Armagh 1-15 to 0-10 ahead after 57 minutes.
Galway finished strongly with an unanswered 1-5 to snatch an unlikely draw. A Hoare free Shane Walsh’s free and ’45’ plus points from Conroy and sub Danny Cummins left a goal in it with three minutes to go.
Aidan Forker picked up a second yellow card for refusing to release the ball leaving Armagh down to 13 men in a dramatic finale. The referee signalled four minutes of stoppage time and it was all Galway in the closing stages.
They lofted several high balls into the square, and it looked like Armagh goalkeeper Paddy Morrison saved the day for Armagh after making a superb save from Damien Comer’s flick.
However in the seventh minute of stoppage time, Sean Denvir lofted in one more high ball and Cummins climbed highest at the back post to flick the ball into the net to grab a precious draw for Galway.
Scorers for Armagh: S Campbell 1-9 (1-0 pen, 2f), C Watters 0-2, G McParland 0-1, E Rafferty 0-1, B Donaghy 0-1, G McParland 0-1
Scorers for Galway: E Hoare 0-4 (1f), S Walsh 0-4 (1f, 1 ’45’), D Cummins 1-1, P Conroy 0-2, L Silke 0-1, D Comer 0-1, D Varley 0-1, G Sice 0-1 (1f)
ARMAGH: P Morrison; S Connell, C Vernon, S Heffron; M Shields, A Forker, J McElroy; B Donaghy, E Rafferty; C O’Hanlon, M McKenna, R Grugan; C Watters, S Campbell, G McParland. Subs: A Findon for McParland (40), T Kernan for Watters (59), C McKeever for Grugan (68), J Hall for McKenna (70).
GALWAY: M Breathnach; D Wynne, D Kyne, C Sweeney; L Silke, G O’Donnell, J Heaney; F O Curraoin, P Conroy; T Flynn, E Hoare, G Sice; S Walsh, A Varley, D Comer. Subs: S Denvir for Wynne (49), D Cummins (0-1) for Varley (49), G Bradshaw for Kyne (63), E Brannigan for Sice (64)
Referee: Sean Hurson (Tyrone)
By Orla Bannon at the Athletic Grounds
Photos by John Merry