Orchard men hold off late Farney rally for winning start in Division 1

January 28, 2023

Armagh's Aidan Nugent celebrates the final whistle ©INPHO/Tom Maher

Armagh held off Monaghan’s late rally in Castleblayney tonight and earned themselves a first round 1-14 to 1-12 victory in Division 1 of the Allianz Football League.

Kieran McGeeney’s side wiped away an early 0-4 to 0-1 deficit with a bizarre goal from Tiernan Kelly, whom capitalised on a poor Rory Beggan kick-out and then saw the Farney 'keeper fumble into his own net. After that, points from Rian O’Neill and Rory Grugan saw the sides going in level (0-7 to1-4) at the break.

Points from O'Neill, Stephen Sheridan, Andrew Murnin and Aidan Nugent after the turnaround saw the visitors take control and things seemingly got worse for their opponents when ace attacker Jack McCarron limped off with an injury.

As has been their forte in the league over the past decade or so, the Farney men persevered and pointed free from Conor McCarthy would be backed up by a converted penalty from the same player three minutes later, leaving just two points in it.

Stephen O’Hanlon narrowed it down to a one-point game prior to O’Neill (free) and Michael Bannigan swapping points, setting this derby up nicely for an exciting finish.

Stefan Campbell came up with two vital points for Armagh down the home stretch and another from Ross McQuillan would cement the opening win for the Orchard men.

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