Armagh comfortably beat Wicklow by 2-9 to 0-10 on Saturday. Jamie Clarke produced a prolific performance for Armagh, scoring 2-2 from play.
Wicklow enjoyed a strong breeze in the first half, but the Mick O’Dwyer’s charges could not take advantage of the conditions. The opening stages were fiercely contested and Tony Hannon’s score made it two points apiece after six minutes.
Points from Hannon and Paul Earls eased Wicklow into a 0-4 to 0-2 lead with 16 minutes on the clock.
Jamie Clarke’s first goal in the 19th minute, however, changed the course of the second half. Wicklow twice failed to clear their lines and the Armagh man scored a scrappy goal while off-balance.
Glynn scored for Wicklow to level the scores, but Armagh were starting to pick up easy scores. Paul Duffy and Stephen McDonnell scored to give Armagh a slender lead. The teams then swapped points to leave Armagh with a 1-5 to 0-6 lead at half-time, despite playing against the strong breeze.
Wicklow emerged from the dressing room with increased vigour and were the better team in the opening ten minutes of the second period. The Garden County were rewarded and points from Tony Hannon and Nathan Glynn levelled the scores with 40 minutes gone.
Jamie Clarke’s second goal in the 46th minute proved to be a hammer blow to Wicklow’s chances. It was a quality finish from the Armagh forward and the strike took the wind out of Wicklow’s sails.
Clarke added two points in the following seven minutes, which were scored either side of an Austin O’Malley point, left Armagh with a four point lead.
Furlong reduced the deficit to three points with ten minutes to play, but Wicklow were unable to get any closer to Armagh. Aaron Kernan and McPartland added points to give Armagh a comfortable five point victory.
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