Armagh secured a 9-point victory over Antrim in the Ulster championship, which sets them up well for their quarter-final encounter with Cavan in a fortnight’s time. Despite the lopsided scoreline, it wasn’t a game for the ages, with Antrim failing to perform to their potential and being wasteful in front of the posts.
Armagh’s James Morgan returned from injury and impressed, providing a boost for the team ahead of tougher matches in the future. Ben Crealy also had a good showing, and Shane McParland had an exceptional championship performance with four points from play.
Conor Turbitt was another player who stood out with eight points and will be looking to keep his position even with Rian O’Neill, Andrew Murnin, and Jarly Og Burns aiming to be fit for the Cavan match after sitting out the Antrim win.
Armagh got off to a strong start, taking a 5-0 lead after the first fifteen minutes and went into the break with a 10-4 advantage. Antrim tried to make a comeback in the second half but Armagh’s defense held firm, keeping the Antrim team from capitalizing on their opportunities.
Armagh controlled the second half, with McParlan and Turbitt staying busy in front of the posts. Antrim had several chances to score a goal but could only convert one, with midfielder Conor Stewart providing their only goal.
Despite Antrim’s fight and determination, Armagh was able to hold on for the win with goalkeeper Ethan Rafferty even getting on the scoresheet. The upcoming match against Cavan promises to be a much more explosive encounter and Armagh can look ahead to it with confidence.
ARMAGH: Ethan Rafferty (0-01, 0-1 free), James Morgan, Aaron McKay, Aidan Forker, Ciaran Mackin (0-01), Greg McCabe, Barry McCambridge, Ben Crealy, Shane McPartlan (0-04), Stefan Campbell (0-01), Rory Grugan (0-03, 0-1 free), Jason Duffy, Jemar Hall (0-01), Conor Turbitt (0-8, 0-3 frees, 0-1 mark), Tiernan Kelly (0-01).
Subs used: Ross McQuillan for Morgan (48’), Stephen Sheridan for Crealy (52’), Aidan Nugent for Hall (57’), Cian McConville for Campbell (63’), Ciaran Higgins for McCambridge.
ANTRIM: Michael Byrne, Eoghan McCabe (0-01), Peter Healy, James McAuley (0-01) Patrick McCormick, Joseph Finnegan, Marc Jordan, Conor Stewart (1-01), Kevin Small, Colm McLarnon, Ruairi McCann (0-1, free), Patrick McBride, Pat Shivers (0-01), Ruairi McCann (Aghagallon) (0-01), Ryan Murray (0-01, free)
Subs used: Patrick Finnegan for McLarnon (24’), Adam Loughran for McBride (45’), Odhran Eastwood (0-01) for Murray (45’), Dominic McEnhill for Shivers (61,) Jack Dowling for Jordan (64’)
Referee: Jerome Henry (Mayo).