Armagh hurlers produced a good performance on Sunday to claim a nine point win over Donegal in Letterkenny.
The sides traded scores in the first half drawing level on four occasions, with Armagh hurling against the breeze. While Armagh converted two points, Donegal hit the front early on with a goal from Paddy Hannigan. Armagh’s response, however, was rapid as Conor Corvan finished to the net within sixty seconds. Ryan Gaffney and Lee Henderson traded scores from the dead ball and a point from Sean McVeigh brought the sides level at 1-4 apiece after 25 minutes. Armagh couldn’t pull away, however, with Henderson keeping Donegal in touch, with 0-4 from frees. The Orchardmen edged the first half with final scores from Stevie Keenan and Conor Corvan bringing them in at the break leading 1-7 to 1-6.
Armagh produced some of their best hurling in the second period and they dominated and controlled the half from the throw-in, despite both sides being reduced to 14 early on. James King got on the scoresheet with a super score and Gaffney tagged on a converted free to push Armagh that wee bit ahead, but it was half time substitute, Dylan McKenna, who made the bigger impact when he hit a three pointer to put Armagh 2-9 to 1-6 ahead. Henderson hit two further frees, the only two Donegal would muster in a half in which the Armagh defence was on top. Gaffney however, continued his scoring spree, finishing the game with 0-8 to his name, including 0-6 from frees and John Corvan and Declan Coulter added their names to the scoresheet, as Donegal were reduced to 13 men, as the game petered out.
Full time Ard Mhacha 2-14 Dún na nGall 1-8
A good win for Armagh, which sets them up well for an away trip to a Wicklow side, which was well beaten by Down at the weekend, following the one week break. Meanwhile, Donegal will continue their search for their first league points with an away trip to Meath.
Armagh: Simon Doherty, Ciaran Clifford, Adam Toal, Stephen Keenan 0-1, James King 0-1, Nathan Curry, Cormac Toner, Kieran McKernan, Eoin McGuinness, Declan Coulter 0-1, David Carvill, Ryan Gaffney 0-8 (0-6 frees), Conor Corvan 1-2, John Corvan 0-1, Cahal Carvill (c)
Subs used: Dylan McKenna 1-0 for Keenan, Tiarnán Nevin for Toal, Odhrán Curry for C Corvan, Paddy McGrane for King, Liam Woods for McGuinness
Donegal: Paul Burns, Martin McGrath, Christopher McDermott, Pauric Doherty, Jack O’Loughlin, Joe Boyle 0-1, Niall Cleary, Ciaran Mathewson, Paul Sheridan, Bernard Lafferty, Paul Nelson, Seán McVeigh 0-1, Lee Henderson 0-6 (0-6 f) Ronan McDermott, Paddy Hanahan 1-0
Subs used: Gavin Browne for O’Loughlin, Shane Gallen for McGrath, Sam Doherty for Nelson, Stephen Gillespie for R McDermott