Armagh’s Christy Ring Cup challenge ended with a 3-19 to 3-13 defeat by Wicklow in the Athletic Grounds.
The home side led by 1-8 to 0-8 at half time with Declan Coulter converting a tenth minute penalty.
Two Andy O’Brien goals put Wicklow in control and despite Conor Corvan’s goal after 55 minutes and a second Coulter penalty, Mikey Lee’s late goal secured victory for the Division 2B champions.
Having lost two games, Armagh now face a relegation play-off against Down.
However John Lennon’s side will take encouragement from a spirited display against an impressive visiting team.
The Orchard county took the lead for the first time in the tenth minute when Conor Corvan won the penalty that Declan Coulter blasted to the net.
The Leinster men stayed in touch through Mikey Lee and Andy O’Brien, but the home side shot some quality long range scores, notably from John Corvan, Ryan Gaffney and Pauric Hughes.
They could have had a second goal, but for Ted Kennedy’s save from Gaffney, before Wicklow countered for Daniel Staunton to narrow the gap.
Gaffney’s second point sent Armagh in with a three-point interval lead, but O’Brien collected Gary Byrnes’ long delivery to fire in a Wicklow goal seven minutes into the second half.
Eamonn Kearns nudged the wind-assisted visitors back in front, and Lee opened up a four point lead.
Armagh got right back into it when Conor Corvan collected Gaffney’s cross to smack home a 55th minute goal.
But that score was cancelled out inside two minutes when O’Brien picked up a loose ball to swivel and shoot low to the net for his second.
Coulter fired home a second penalty, awarded for a foul on Gaffney, but Lee secured Wicklow’s win with a late goal.
Meanwhile, Donegal are through to the Nicky Rackard semi-finals after beating Louth 5-14 to 1-9 in their qualifier in Dowdallshill.
Fermanagh scored 2-15 but only drew with Longford (1-18) in a third round Lory Meagher Cup tie.
Armagh: S Doherty; C Devlin, C Clifford, M Garvey; S Reneghan, N Curry, C McAnallen; F Bradley (0-3), P Gaffney, D Coulter (2-5, two pens, 4f), J Corvan (0-2), K McKernan; C Corvan (1-0), R Gaffney (0-2), P Hughes (0-1)
Subs: D Mone for Devlin, L McKee for Garvey, N Greene for Curry
Wicklow: T Kennedy; G Bermingham, S Kelly, L Moloney; G Byrne, J Henderson, B Cuddihy; E Kearns (0-1), R Keddy; C Moorehouse (0-2), M Lee (1-7, 4f), J O’Neill (0-3); A O’Brien (2-4), S Byrne, D Staunton (0-2)
Subs: E Dunne for Moloney, P Doran for O’Neill
Referee: S Keane (Galway)
Photos by John Merry