Armagh hurlers slumped to defeat in Ballina on Saturday when the westerners put in a super performance to claim a 0-22 to 1-11 win.
The Orchard county suffered a couple of setbacks before throw-in with Cahal Carvill and Declan Coulter ruled out. Mayo got off to a great start with points from Kieran McDermott, Kenny Feeney and Seán Regan. Points from Shea Gaffney and Conor Corvan looked to have settled the visitors, but Regan, Keith Higgins and the impressive Feeney chipping in with two added to the Mayo scores. Armagh’s problems were compounded with the injured Shea Gaffney having to make way. However, Armagh responded when a long range free from Nathan Cirry found Ryan Gaffney who turned and finished to the net. Mayo however, were dominant across the field, particularly at midfield and they added further scores through Higgins, Feeney and McDermott. Connor Devlin hit a great score with half-time approaching, but Feeney hit his fifth of the half to ensure Mayo went in five points ahead.
Leath ama Maigh Eo 0-11 Ard Mhacha 1-3
The second half began with Mayo’s Cahal Freeman and Armagh’s James King trading scores. Mayo then took full advantage of some poor refereeing decisions and converted a number of frees, while the Armagh attack found it difficult to win any frees from Mayo’s defensive fouls. Stevie Keenan hit a good score to bring the gap down to nine and Gaffney and Feeney again traded scores from the dead ball. Armagh struggled to get a grip on the game and went down to 14 men when Stephen Renaghan picked up a harsh enough second yellow. Seconds later, it looked like Mayo would also be reduced to 14, but the referee decided not to award a second yellow. Cathal Freeman added a score, while Kenny Feeney hit a further two to cap off a super personal performance. While there was no doubting the better side, Armagh finished strongly and points from Gaffney, Corvan, Davy Carvill and a good effort from Kieran McKernan brought a close to the match.
Lán ama Maigh Eo 0-22 Ard Mhacha 1-11
Armagh must pick themselves up now and refocus before a quarter final tie on Saturday, with the opponents, venue and time to be confirmed.