Armagh hurlers had a comfortable win over Monaghan on Sunday racking up a full time tally of 1-27 against Monaghan’s 2-15. The visitors hit the ground running when Petey McKearney opened the scoring within seconds and the Orchard side rarely looked back from then.
The opening quarter saw Armagh open up a good lead of six at the water break. Fionntán Donnelly maintained his accuracy with four frees and 2 65s, one of which came from a good stop from the keeper off an Eoin McGuinness opportunity. McGuinness had already opened his scoring after a brilliant individual effort with a fine catch and score. Paddy McBride also got on the scoresheet with a good effort to bring the sides in for a much needed water break with the scores standing 0-9 to 0-3; Monaghan’s efforts coming from Fergal Rafter (one from play and one from a free) and Mark Treanor.
On the resumption, things went from bad to worse for the homeside as Paddy McBride did well to win the ball and pass to Donnelly who fed through to Eoin McGuinness to calmly finish to the net. The goal was followed up by a Donnelly free and Petey McKearney effort to put further pressure on the home side with five minutes left of the half. However, Monaghan did give a response and claimed five points, four from their talisman Rafter and a good effort from Ciarán Guinan.
Half time Ard Mhacha 1-11 Muineachán 0-8
Monaghan’s Hugh Byrne converted a free as the second half got underway but Armagh piled on the pressure with a score from half time substitute Stevie McKearney followed up by a score from Tiarnán O’Neill and two from Odhrán Curry in quick succession. Monaghan we’re not ready to give up just yet and a goal from Mark Treanor reduced the arrears back to six. Petey McKearney, who had a fantastic game, responded with a good effort and a free from Donnelly and point from Danny Magee soon cancelled the three pointer out. Rafter again kept Monaghan in with a shout with a couple of frees but Stevie McKearney got his second after a fine catch in midfield from Paddy McBride.
Donnelly, Magee and Petey McKearney added to their tallies and a fine passage of play from Armagh was neatly finished by the impressive McBride. With ten minutes remaining, Stephen Lambe took full advantage of a rare lapse in concentration levels in the Armagh defence as he was left in an acre of space to finish to the net, a goal which was quickly followed up by a point from Conall McHugh. However, yet again, Armagh responded through frees from Aaron Fox, Donnelly and a point from Danny Magee and great work by Ciaran Clifford in defence to win back the ball was rewarded as the evergreen Cú Chulainn star fired over a mighty score to wrap up an impressive victory.
Full time Ard Mhacha 1-27 Muineachán 2-15
Armagh: Simon Doherty, Ciarán Clifford 0-1, Tiarnán Nevin, Liam Woods, Oisín Keenan, Aaron Fox 0-1 (0-1f), Paudie Lappin, Paddy McBride 0-2, Odhrán Curry 0-2, Petey McKearney 0-4, Mark McClatchey, Fionntán Donnelly 0-10 (0-8f,0-2 65), Stevie Keenan, Eoin McGuinness 1-1, Danny Magee 0-3
Subs used: Tiarnán O’Neill 0-1, Stevie McKearney 0-2, Paddy Kelly, Tiarnán O’Hare