Steven McDonnell’s Armagh U21 side advanced to the Ulster semi-finals on Wednesday night with a three-point win over Antrim in their replayed quarter-final at Newry.
The two sides played out a thrilling draw last Wednesday in a game which went to extra-time, and the star of the show for Antrim that evening was Ronan McGrady, who scored 3-4. However, McGrady was sent off last night after just 13 minutes following an incident with Seamus Kelly.
That was a huge blow for Antrim, but they largely sustained it and battled on. They led 0-3 to 0-2 but trailed 0-6 to 0-3 at the break following four unanswered Armagh points, with Blaine Malone and Ciarán O’Hanlon among the scorers for the Orchard County.
With Patrick McBride in fine scoring form for the Saffrons, Antrim got back within one of Armagh in the third quarter, and they still trailed by just one point at 0-10 to 0-9 with around 12 minutes to go.
It was a superb effort from Antrim to stay so firmly in the game, but two points from Paul McGeown opened up a three-point Armagh advantage again. McBride had a goal chance right at the end for Antrim, but Armagh goalkeeper David O’Hagan kept the ball out and the Orchard men advanced to the semi-final against Donegal, which will take place next Wednesday in Omagh.
Scorers for Armagh: P McGeown 0-3, C Comiskey 0-3 (3f), J Hall 0-2 (1 ’45), B Malone 0-1, C O’Hanlon 0-1, M McKenna 0-1, E English 0-1, J Grugan 0-1.
Scorers for Antrim: P McBride 0-5 (2f), R Murray 0-1 (1f), D McAleese 0-1, R McGrady 0-1 (1f), R Lynch 0-1, O Gallagher 0-1.
ARMAGH: D O’Hagan; D O’Neill, S Kelly, C McCooey; D O’Hagan, M Murphy, J McElroy; A Findon, B Malone; P McGeown, M McKenna, C Comiskey; E English, C O’Hanlon, J Hall. Subs: P Crilly for M Murphy (42), C MacIomhar for E English (49), J Grugan for J Hall (58).
ANTRIM: R Hanna; C O’Rawe, N Delargy, F O’Neill; M McGarry, R Wilson, E Killough; O Gallagher, D Nugent; R Murray, P Nugent, D McAleese; P McBride, R McGrady, L McCurdy. Subs: K Quinn for P Nugent (42), R Lynch for L McCurdy (45), R McCann for O Gallagher (51), C McCann for R Wilson (56).