O’Neill grabs two goals as Armagh dump Monaghan out of the qualifiers
John Fallon reports from Clones
ARMAGH SENT ALL-Ireland semi-finalists Monaghan crashing out of the 2019 championship with a deserved success at St Tiernach’s Park.
Monaghan were always chasing the game in their own backyard and could have few complaints as Kieran McGeeney’s men triumphed.
It was a rock solid performance from Armagh who will gain huge confidence from the manner of this win.
The sides were level six times in the opening half but Armagh, playing against the breeze, went in leading by 0-11 to 0-10 at the break thanks to an effort from the right by Andrew Murnin.
Jamie Clarke was a constant thorn in the Monaghan defence and was involved in most of their scores before picking off a good point himself approaching the interval to tie the sides for the fifth time.
There were level three times in the opening eight minutes but Armagh, playing some lovely passing football, opened up a 0-8 to 0-5 lead after 22 minutes in an opening half where they had ten scorers.
Wing-forward Jemar Hall was the only Armagh player to score twice but goalkeeper Rory Beggan led the Monaghan response with a couple of 45’s, while Conor McManus landed some trademark scores to draw level just before the half hour.
Michael Bannigan edged Monaghan in front but Clarke responded as Armagh held the advantage at the break.
They increased that lead to a goal inside five minutes of the restart with efforts from Niall Grimley and Jarlath Og Burns, while Monaghan’s task got more difficult when Kieran Duffy picked up a black card.
Then Armagh broke from deep to fire home the opening goal when Rian O’Neill finished to the net after Aidan Nugent’s effort was blocked to make it 1-14 to 0-10 after 50 minutes.
There was no way back for Monaghan after that, with O’Neill getting his second goal after being set up by Clarke after 59 minutes to lead by 2-15 to 0-11, although Jack McCarron got a late consolation goal for Monaghan.
Scorers for Armagh: Rian O’Neill 2-1, Jamie Clarke 0-3 (0-2f), Jemar Hall 0-2, Jarlath Óg Burns 0-2, Aidan Forker 0-1, Mark Shields 0-1, Brendan Donaghy 0-1, Paul Hughes 0-1, Niall Grimley 0-1, Charlie Vernon 0-1, Aidan Nugent 0-1, Stefan Campbell 0-1, Andrew Murnin 0-1
Scorers for Monaghan: Conor McManus 0-5 (0-4f), Rory Beggan 0-2 (0-2 45s), Jack McCarron 1-1, Kieran Hughes 0-1; Dessie Ward 0-1, Conor McCarthy 0-1, Micheál Bannigan 0-1.
1 Blaine Hughes (St Patricks Carrickcruppen)
5 Aidan Forker (Maghery)
3 Paddy Burns (Forkhill)
8 Aaron McKay (Dromintee St Patrick’s)
2 Mark Shields (An Chrois Bhán)
6 Brendan Donaghy (Clonmore)
4 Paul Hughes (Crossmaglen Rangers)
18 Jarlath Óg Burns (Silverbridge Harps)
9 Niall Grimley (Madden)
of the team
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10 Aidan Nugent (St Patricks Cullyhanna)
11 Stefan Campbell (Clan na Gael)
12 Jemar Hall (Forkhill)
13 Jamie Clarke (Neasden Gaels)
14 Rian O’Neill (Crossmaglen Rangers)
15 Andrew Murnin (St Paul’s)
17 Rory Grugan (Ballymacnab) for Murnin (40)
22 Charlie Vernon (Armagh Harps) for Grimley (67)
23 Jason Duffy (St Patricks Cullyhanna) for Nugent (73)
1 Rory Beggan (Scotstown)
2 Kieran Duffy (Latton)
3 Conor Boyle (Clontibret)
4 Ryan Wylie (Ballybay)
5 Karl O’Connell (Tyholland)
6 Vinny Corey (Clontibret)
10 Fintan Kelly (Clones)
8 Niall Kearns (Sean McDermotts)
9 Kieran Hughes (Scotstown)
7 Dessie Ward (Ballybay)
14 Conor McCarthy (Scotstown)
13 Ryan McAnespie (Emyvale)
21 Jack McCarron (Currin)
15 Conor McManus (Clontibret)
26 Michéal Bannigan (Aughnamullen)
19 Drew Wylie (Ballybay) for Duff (45)
17 Dessie Mone (Clontibret) for McCarthy (51)
12 Shane Carey (Scotstown) for McAnespie (54)
25 Barry McGinn (Doohamlet) for Kearns (59)
24 Stephen O’Hanlon (Carrickmacross) for Bannigan (61)
Referee: Ciaran Branagan (Down)
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