Armagh hurlers ran out easy winners over a self-destructing Louth side in Darver on Sunday.
Armagh produced some of their best hurling of the year and held their discipline in spite of a number of serious infractions from the home side. Dylan McKenna opened the scoring for Armagh, a point which was quickly cancelled out by a Seaghan Connelly effort. The Orchard side however, were well on top throughout and an Eoin McGuinness point was followed up by a McKenna goal and point as well as two dead ball efforts from Ruairí Fullerton. Louth, who were very fortunate to maintain their 15 man complement at this stage, were living on scraps, but three succesive points from Darren Geoghan, one from a 65, one from a free and one from play, brought the margin back down to four.
The Orchard captain Stephen Renaghan looked to have steadied the ship finishing to the net, but Fintan Woods failed to gather the ball at the other end, allowimg David Kettle to finish to the net. Another Geoghan free gave Louth further hope, but two late scores from Danny Magee and a Ruairí Fullerton free gave the visitors a five point cushion at the break.
Half time Ard Mhacha 2-7 An Lú 1-5
Danny Magee got the first two scores of the second half, the first after a super run from Shaun Toal cut right through the Louth defence. Darran O’Hanrahan pulled one back for the hosts, but Dean Gaffney hit two in a row to enforce the visitors dominance. Paddy McGrane, who came in early in the second half, got in on the scoring after good work from Odhrán McCann, but Louth pulled a goal back with Darren Geoghan driving to the net from a free.
Eoin McGuinness, Danny Magee and Dean Gaffney added to Louth’s woes as they began to crumble under the Armagh pressure. Unfortunately, the home side resorted to foul play with three men seeing red and following recent high profile incidents in hurling, one Louth player telling Armagh to “go back to the north”. Non-perturbed and showing great self-control, Armagh continued out-classing their opponents right across the field and further scores from Danny Magee and Stephen Renaghan wrapped up an easy win.
Final score: Ard Mhacha 2-17 An Lú 2-6
Armagh currently sitting second in the league have an away fixture to Tyrone in Omagh next Sunday at 1pm – a win or draw would put Armagh into a league final against Roscommon.