Full-time: Armagh 1-13 Tyrone 0-19
It was fast and frantic with Armagh’s next generation showing well, but in the end some old head’s got the better of them. Stephen O’Neill, Martin Penrose, Colm Cavanagh and Joe McMahon rose to a serious challenge and after conceding an early goal and after conceding the lead in the final minutes, Tyrone calmly regrouped and showed serious composure. For them, Donegal await. For Armagh, the qualifiers await although despite defeat, if they can repeat that intensity and hunger, they may well be the best team in those qualifiers thus far.
15.56 – Throw-in moments away at a colourful and packed Athletics Ground so let’s get straight to it and here are the teams..
Armagh: P McEvoy; A Mallon, B Donaghy, D McKenna; A Kernan, C McKeever, F Moriarty; K Toner, M Mackin; A Forker, K Dyas, A Duffy; J Clarke, B Mallon, C Rafferty.
Tyrone: P McConnell; A McCrory, Justin McMahon, D Carlin; C McCarron, C Gormley, S O’Neill; Joe McMahon, C Cavanagh; R McNabb, M Donnelly, P Harte; M Penrose, S O’Neill, O Mulligan.
Referee: J McQuillan (Cavan).
16.55 – 36 minutes, Armagh 1-5 Tyrone 0-12: Aaron Kernan doesn’t emerge for the second half, and it’s Gavin McParland who replaces him. He goes to the half-forward line and Kevin Dyas drops back. More bad news for Armagh, who need a good start as we get back underway. It’s close to getting away from them, especially as Martin Penrose wins a free and kicks the free. Meanwhile Justin McMahon has gone off for Tyrone, Joe McMahon has gone to full-back.
17.02 – 43 minutes, Armagh 1-7 Tyrone 0-13: Penrose free and Clarke replies but while Armagh are helter-skelter, Tyrone are winning ball around the middle and looking solid going forward.
17.07 – 48 minutes, Armagh 1-9 Tyrone 0-13: That’s a lovely score from substitute Gavin McParland and it lifts the home crowd. It lifts the home side too although they fail to capitalise on three promising attacks and Aidan Forker is forced to go off as well with injury as Johnny Hanratty replaces him. But there’s McParland again.
17.15 – 55 minutes, Armagh 1-9 Tyrone 0-15: How big a moment will that be? Stephen O’Neill might have goaled but slipped, however he has the where with all to lay it back to Penrose who extends the gap. And how big will this moment be? Kevin Dyas was booked two minutes ago now goes high on Peter Harte. It’s another yellow. Crazy tackle. He’s off.
17.25 – 66 minutes, Armagh 1-12 Tyrone 0-15: Gavin McParland has been immense on both sides of the ball. He turns over possession in one stretch of play, he wins a free in the next and in no small part down to him, his side have so much momentum. Owen Mulligan has gone, Niall McKenna takes his place. But all eyes are on Brian Mallon as he points from a free from the hands from outside of 45′.