Armagh game ends in controversy

Armagh game ends in controversy

Top referee Barney Henry from Craigavon with his family

Eugene Creaney

Reporter:

Eugene Creaney

Email:

info@yourlurgan.com

Armagh, who are no strangers to controversy in this season's league campaign, ended today's encounter in Letterkenny embroiled in another brawl with an Ulster side.

This time it was Donegal who ruffled the feathers and held on for a one point win, 1-14 to 1-13.

If fortune favours the brave, then the visitors were handed a double lifeline firstly, when they were trailing by four points, a blunder by Patton in the Donegal goal resulted in the superb Aidan Nugent finishing at the far post.

The second and most crucial turning point for an Orchard outfit which was struggling at the time, was when Michal Murphy's spot kick in the second period missed the right hand post, with two points in quick succession at the other end changing the complexion of the tie.

McGeeney's outfit brought it all square before the brilliant Paddy McBrearty gave Donegal the points with the final strike of the contest.

Both sides missed a lot of chances in the closing stages, but they would not have missed the significance of the at times bad tempered nature of some of the exchanges, which will be noted by the teams management and analysed before the sides meet in Ulster in four weeks.

Donegal looked a lot quicker both in thought and execution in the first half, but there were a lot of positives for Geezer in the performance of Andy Murnin, Crealey in the centre and the dash and excitement of Aidan Nugent. Rian O'Neill continues on an upward curve.

The visitors lost James Morgan, probably more through caution, following a heavy challenge from Michael Murphy. Ruairi Grugan and O'Neill in particular settled things when introduced.

Moving forward, Armagh can win in the provinces. With a net result should they curtail Murphy and the sublime Paddy McBrearty next time out, a scenario which could prove at best "difficult".

As both sides sift through the embers, credence should be given to the managers for a thoroughly entertaining contest, which will be headlined by "Armagh involved in a another brawl".

Retrospectively, neither side needed the points, with Dublin and Kildare going down due to results elsewhere the shadow boxing was a sizing up with Ballybofey looming.

The game today was tense, it lacked something, but didn't disappoint.

Did Geezer learn something from Jack O'Connor, keeping his 'Clifford', Rian O'Neill, in reserve?

Cian McConville got a piece of the action, while Murnin was the most improved and will be hard to shift in the championship.

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