Wexford left a seemingly unassailable eleven-point lead slip, as Armagh fought back to earn a draw at the Athletic Grounds.
In a highly entertaining National Football League Division 2 encounter, the crowd were treated to six goals as the teams finished level on a scoreline of 3-08 to 3-08.
Wexford began the game in scintillating from, with Paddy Byrne scoring the first of his side’s three first-half goals after just six minutes. It was a bad goal to concede, as an inexperienced Armagh defence that had a night to forget. Things went from bad to worse for Armagh in the 16th minute when Aidan Forker conceded a penalty which Redmond Barry duly converted to put Wexford ahead by six points.
A calamitous defensive display was compounded in the 21st minute, as Wexford chalked up their third goal. Shane Roche found a worrying amount of space in behind the Armagh rearguard and finished with aplomb.
Armagh finally scored a goal of their own just before half-time as super-sub Gavin McParland scored the first of his three goals to cut the lead to eight points at half-time, 3-3 to 1-1.
Armagh began the second-half with a point from Forker, but Wexford responded with three Brosnan frees. Wexford led by nine points with just a quarter of the game left but somehow let their Northern opponents back into the game.
The turning point came midway through the second-half as an uncharacteristic defensive lapse from Joey Wadding allowed McParland to score his second goal.
McParland completed his hat-trick in the 59th minute, after Armagh were awarded a penalty for a foot block, and found themselves just three points in arrears thanks to a scoring run of 2-3 to nil.
Armagh’s strength in depth proved it’s worth in stoppage time when substitute Stefan Campbell capped a wonderful comeback with the game’s leveller. Armagh showed great resilience and somehow salvaged a draw. Wexford will be hugely disappointed that they left a massive eleven-point lead slip.
Armagh: P McEvoy, M Shields, J Donnelly, D McKenna, K McKeever, A Forker (0-1), B Loughran (0-1), S Harold, K Toner, C Rafferty, N McConville, E Rafferty (0-1), E McVerry, S Forker (0-4, 3f), B Mallon.
Subs: J Lavery for Harold (23), G McParland (3-0), 1 pen)for McConville (27), B Donaghy for McVerry (33), K Dyas for Mallon (52), S Campbell (0-1) for Toner (67)
Wexford: A Masterson, B Malone, G Molloy, R Tierney, L Chin, J Wadding, A Flynn, D Waters, C Doyle, M Furlong, B Brosnan (0-5, 4f), P Byrne (1-0), S Roche (1-1, 0-1f), R Barry (1-0, pen), PJ Banville (0-2).
Subs: R Quinlivan for Doyle (42), J Holmes for Furlong (54), D Murphy for Flynn (66)