Galway hold on to beat Armagh
ARMAGH 0-12 GALWAY 1-12
Galway hung on to record their first away win in the Qualifiers since 2001 despite not scoring for the last 20 minutes of the second half at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh.
The crucial score of the game came 10 minutes after the restart as Galway grabbed the game’s only goal when Paul Conroy’s free dropped short into the area and Damien Comer fisted to the net.
That score helped the Tribesmen open a seven-point lead but they wouldn’t score again as Armagh mounted a late charge.
In the end, Kieran McGeeney’s side fell just short but the Orchard county had a strong penalty shout ignored by David Gough after Jamie Clarke appeared to be fouled in the penalty area.
And while the introduction of fresh legs helped cut the gap to three points and make for a thrilling finale, they wouldn’t create the goal chance they needed to catch a Galway side that fell over the line in the end.
Kevin Walsh’s side picked up two black cards in injury time as they looked to see out the game.
The first half was tense and competitive.
Galway landed the first two points of the game through Conroy frees but Armagh replied with three of their own with James Morgan rounding off that scoring burst after raiding forward from the half back line.
The teams were well matched from there but Kieran McGeeney’s men wouldn’t lead for the remainder of the game.
Both sides were struggling to break each other down but the direct ball to the uncompromising Comer was yielding dividends and he hit two points from play.
Galway might have forced a goal after their forwards forced a turnover but Micheal Lundy’s snap shot was well smothered by Armagh goalkeeper Matthew McNeice in what was the only sight on goal for either side in the opening 35 minutes.
At the other end, Jamie Clarke hit the point of the day from an acute angle but his opportunities were limited and Galway hit three of the last four points of the half to take a 0-9 to 0-7 lead in at the break.
And while Armagh tried to close the gap in the second half the big calls and the luck went the way of the Tribesmen as they held to secure their place in tomorrow morning’s draw.
Galway: D Comer 1-2, P Conroy 0-4 (4f), G Sice 0-3 (2f), P Og O Griofa, D Cummins, L Silke 0-1 each.
Armagh: E Rafferty 0-3 (2f), A Forker (1f), M McKenna 0-2 each, M Shields, J Clarke, T Kernan, J Morgan, A Murnin 0-1 each.
Armagh: M McNeice; A Mallon, C Vernon, J Morgan; M Murray, B Donaghy, S Connell; A Findon, E Rafferty; S Campbell, A Forker, C Rafferty; M McKenna, A Murnin, J Clarke
SUBS: D McKenna for S Connell, T Kernan for E Rafferty, M Shields for M McKenna (all 52), S Harold for Findon (60).
Galway: B O’Donoghue; J Duane, F Hanley, C Sweeney; L Silke, G O’Donnell, G Bradshaw; F O Curraoin, T Flynn; G Sice, P Conroy, S Denvir; P Og O Griofa, D Comer, M Lundy
SUBS: D Cummins for Denvir (h-t), A Varley for O Griofa (66), P Sweeney for Sice (BC 70), P Varley for C Sweeney (BC 70).
Referee: D Gough (Meath).