An injury time Rory Grugan point earned Armagh a replay against current Ulster Champions Monaghan at Clones yesterday.
The Orchard men scored the final three points of the game, two in added time, to pull off a minor upset.
Paul Grimley’s men, missing Andy Mallon, Brendan Donaghey, Kieran Toner and Caolan Rafferty through suspension and injury, thoroughly deserved a result from this pulsating Ulster tie.
Jamie Clarke and Stefan Campbell shone up front for Armagh while Conor McManus pull the strings for the Farney men at the other end, however, Monaghan ‘keeper Rory Beggan bagged the Man of the Match award following his five point haul – all from frees.
Monaghan were 0-6 to 0-3 ahead after 22 minutes but the introduction of Crossmaglen’s Tony Kernan after the clubmate Kyle Carragher was black carded drew Armagh back to within two. Stefan Campbell added two more just before the break to bring the sides level.
The second half continued in the same vein as every punch Monaghan landed, Armagh responded in kind.
With 68 minutes on the clock Monaghan led by three and were on course for a second successive Ulster final appearance but Jamie Clarke and Armagh had other ideas. Clarke added a superb left-footed point before the excellent Campbell landed his third to bring Armagh within one point.
With just seconds remaining Mark Shields was foolishly fouled 35 metres from goal. Up stepped substitute Rory Grugan with nerves of steal to land the levelling point.
There wasn’t enough time for either side to launch a final attack as the whistle went but both sides will meet again on Sunday July 6 with Armagh welcoming back their suspended trio.
ARMAGH: Philip McEvoy; James Morgan, Charlie Vernon, Finian Moriarty; Aaron Kernan, Ciarán McKeever, Mark Shields (0-1); Stefan Campbell (0-3), Aaron Findon; Eugene McVerry, Kevin Dyas (0-1), Aidan Forker (0-1); Kyle Carragher, Ethan Rafferty, Jamie Clarke (0-3). Subs: Tony Kernan (0-3, 0-2 frees) for Carragher (black card, 21 mins); S Harold for Rafferty (50 mins); S Forker (0-1) for A Forker (55 mins); R McGrugan (0-1) for McVerry (58 mins); M Murray for Moriarty (65 mins).
MONAGHAN: Rory Beggan (0-5, all frees); Kieran Duffy, Drew Wylie, Colin Walshe; Dessie Mone, Vinny Corey, Fintan Kelly; Dick Clerkin (0-1), Darren Hughes; Ryan Wylie, Pádraig Donaghy, Jack McCarron (0-1, free); Dermot Malone,Kieran Hughes (0-2), Conor McManus (0-2, free). Sub: Stephen Gollogly (0-2, one free) for McCarron (half-time); Chris McGuinness (0-1) for McManus (black card, 45 mins); P McKenna for Donaghy (51 mins); P Finlay for Malone (63 mins); K O’Connell for Kelly (70 mins).
Photos by John Merry