SF qualifier: Clarke strikes late to topple Tipp

July 15, 2017

Tipperary's Liam Casey with Stephen Sheridan and Paul Shields with Armagh

Armagh 1-17

Tipperary 1-15

A late Jamie Clarke goal proved decisive as Armagh defeated Tipperary in a lively All-Ireland SFC Round 3B qualifier at Semple Stadium to reach the last-12 of the championship.

The Crossmaglen ace struck in the final minute of normal time as the Orchard County avenged last April's loss to the same opponents at the Athletic Grounds which cost them promotion to Division 2 of the Allianz League. Michael Quinlivan, whose last-gasp goal broke Armagh hearts on that occasion, netted once again in the 38th minute to give Tipp a four-point lead, 1-10 to 0-9, but inspired by eight points from man of the match Niall Grimley, Kieran McGeeney's men fought back for a deserved victory.

The performance of referee Paddy Neilan was one of the big talking points of a game watched by a crowd of 6,823. The Roscommon match official enraged both teams with some questionable decision-making and was escorted off the pitch at the final whistle. After disallowing a goal by Armagh's Gavin McParland in the first half, he sent Tipp fans into a rage in the closing stages with his interpretation of the advantage rule both in the lead-up to Clarke's goal and when Philip Austin wasn't allowed an advantage as he bore down on goal in injury-time.

The hosts took a 0-10 to 0-8 lead into the interval with Liam Casey, Josh Keane and Jack Kennedy all on the mark. McParland thought he had scored a goal in the 19th minute for Armagh, but the referee called play back for a free rather than applying the advantage rule.

Neither Michael Quinlivan nor Conor Sweeney got much change out of the Armagh defence in the first half, but it didn't take long for the pair to make their mark in the second half as they combined for a stunning goal three minutes in. But Tipp wouldn't score again for 20 minutes as the visitors mounted a comeback.

Tipp goalkeeper Ciaran Kenrick produced an excellent save to deny Andrew Murnin shortly after Quinlivan's goal, but with Grimley to the fore, Armagh battled back and had edged ahead by the 61st minute thanks to a Jamie Clarke point.

After Sweeney levelled from a free, substitute Stefan Campbell restored the Orchard County's lead and their supporters were on their feet when a counter-attack culminated in Clarke dropping the ball before dribbling it into the net for a memorable goal.

Seven minutes of injury-time were allotted, but Tipp couldn't save themselves with Quinlivan having no luck from a couple of late goal attempts from close-in frees.

Armagh - B Hughes; G McCabe (0-1), J Morgan, C Vernon; B Donaghy, P Hughes, A Forker (0-1); S Sheridan (0-1), N Grimley (0-8, 5f, 1'45); C O'Hanlon, M Shields, R Grugan (0-2, 1f); G McParland (0-2), A Murnin, J Clarke (1-1). Subs: J McElroy for G McCabe, S Campbell (0-1) for C O'Hanlon, C McKeever for J Clarke, E Rafferty for A Murnin.

Tipperary - C Kenrick; A Campbell, P Codd, E Moloney; B Maher, R Kiely, J Feehan; L Casey (0-2), G Hannigan; J Keane (0-4, 2f), K O'Halloran (0-2, 1f), B Fox (0-1); C Sweeney (0-3f), M Quinlivan (1-0), J Kennedy (0-2f). Subs: P Austin (0-1) for G Hannigan, G Hannigan for J Kennedy (BC), Liam Boland for E Moloney, D Foley for K O'Halloran, L McGrath for Liam Boland.

Referee - P Neilan.

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