Allianz Hurling League, Div 3A, Sunday 16 May 2021, at 1pm, Athletic Grounds, Armagh
Full time: Armagh 2-21 Longford 0-16
Armagh produced a good performance to easily see off Longford in their opening game of the Allianz Hurling League on Sunday. The home side got off to a great start and maintained their dominance right across the field from start to finish with the midlanders struggling to stay in touch.
Eoin McGuinness opened the scoring within seconds, after Petey McKearney won the ball from the throw in. The next attack saw a green flag raised as Danny Magee raced towards the goal, but it was a quick flick from Stephen Keenan that left the Longford goalkeeper picking the ball from the net.
Five minutes later, provider turned finisher as Magee got Armagh’s second to give the home side a comfortable advantage early on. Joe O’Brien was best for Longford in the first half and his tally of 0-5, 4 from frees, as well as a Cathal Mullane effort were as good as it got for the visitors. Fionntán Donnelly put Longford under further pressure with a first half háil of 0-6, four of which come from play and further scores from Aaron Fox, Paddy McBride, McGuinness and Keenan left the half time score Armagh 2-11 Longford 0-6.
Armagh expected Longford to come at them early in the second half with nothing to lose and they hit three huge long-range frees early in the half through Steven Creaven. Donnelly split the first two scores with an Armagh free, but a real captain’s score from Aaron Fox who out-witted three Longford players and drove forward to fire over the bar soon deflated Longford’s chances. Longford were living on scraps now and Reuben Murray took advantage of a mistake in the home side’s defence and Joe O’Brien converted an awarded 65. Donnelly, Keenan and McBride pushed Armagh 11 points ahead once more with just over 10 minutes remaining. While Joe O’Brien pulled one back. Armagh again pressed forward and two from Donnelly, one from a 65, and a great effort by Jim Shortt from the far sideline underlined Armagh’s superiority. Longford managed another couple of consolation scores through O’Brien and substitute John Mulhearn as Danny Magee closed off the Armagh spree to leave the final score Armagh 2-21 Longford 0-16.
Armagh: Simon Doherty, Ciarán Clifford, Tiarnán Nevin, Jim Shortt 0-1, Paudie Lappin, Aaron Fox 0-2, Odhrán Curry, Paddy McBride 0-2, Petey McKearney, Fionntán Donnelly 0-11, Eoin McGuinness 0-2, Oisín Keenan, Stevey Keenan 1-2, Mark McClatchey, Danny Magee 1-1
Subs used: Liam Woods, Liam McIlroy, Artie McGuinness, Tiarnán O’Hare, Stephen O’Keefe