Tyrone defeated Armagh in Omagh on Saturday night to qualify for a fourth round clash with Roscommon in the All Ireland qualifiers. The home side were always in control and apart from a brief period at the start of the second half,Armagh never really looked like causing an upset.
The hosts were first on the board when Peter Harte pointed after two minutes. O’Rourke then tied the match up before Stevie McDonnell gave the Orchard County the lead. Mark Donnelly then restored parity before Malachy Mackin fired Armagh back into the lead. McDonnell added another point to give his side a two point advantage. Kyle Coney was causing the Armagh defence problems and his point closed the deficit further. O’Rourke and McDonnell then scored to increase the Armagh lead once again.
The home side then took over towards the end of the half, with Harte and Sean O’Neill scoring. McGuigan then hit the equaliser and McMahon fired a goal that gave his side a three point lead. McGuigan had the final say of the half and his second point left it 1-07 to 0-6 at the break.
Armagh started the second period brightly and McDonnell narrowed the gap just after the restart. Billy Joe Padden added another for the visitors,before a Kiernan point left it a one point game. However, Harte pointed to give his side some breathing space and leave two between the teams. The Red Hands then hit two quick points and a goal from McGuigan left seven between the sides. That score gave the home side the confidence to turn the screw and stride on.
Peter Harte pointed a free to make it an eight point game,as Tyrone laid down a marker to all those left in the championship. McDonnell narrowed the gap with an Armagh point and then fired a penalty over the bar to let Tyrone off the hook. That was the decisive factor of the match as a goal would have given the Orchard County a real chance with just ten minutes to play.
Armagh hit the next two points to leave it a four point game and with five minutes to play, Paddy O’Rourke’s men must have wondered if that penalty would come back to haunt them. Mark Donnelly pointed to leave Tyrone five ahead and Sean Cavanagh had the final say as his point wrapped up a six point victory.