Allianz FL D1: Lively encounter finishes level
Allianz Football League Division One
Armagh 0-17 Mayo 0-17
By Steve Malone at the BOX-IT Athletic Grounds
Armagh came from five points down with three minutes of normal time remaining to clinch a dramatic draw against Mayo.
While it was Mayo’s second draw in as many weeks, this one didn’t taste as sweet because they looked home and hosed against the Orchard County.
Armagh had the wind to their backs and had done enough to lead 0-8 to 0-6 at the break with Andrew Murnin, Rory Grugan and Rian O’Neil on target for the Orchard.
Mayo found it hard to breakdown Armagh’s defence in the opening period but Ryan O’Donoghue, Jordan Flynn and substitute Cillian O’Connor did the needful.
The second half was a completely different beast as though Armagh initially stretching their lead, Mayo took control. Aidan O’Shea was hard to stop at the edge of the square, Matthew Ruane was impressive at midfield, while O’Connor and Ryan O’Donoghue gave the Westerners a healthy lead. Goalkeeper Colm Reape and James Carr kept Mayo’s scoreboard ticking over as Armagh struggled.
With three minutes of normal time remaining Mayo led 0-17 to 0-12, but Andrew Murnin’s point was backed up with a great score from Conor Turbitt on 70 minutes.
Six additional minutes were added and the crowd of 14, 113 made their voices heard.
It was tense and exciting as Armagh pressed forward with goalkeeper Ethan Rafferty winning vital ball and at times getting caught out. Eoghan McLaughlin had a great chance to wrap up victory with an open goal, but his kick from distance sailed wide.
Armagh overturned possession, with substitutes Jason Duffy and Ross McQuillan making vital contributions, but it was that man - Rian O’Neill - who steered over the last three points, a 45 and two frees to rescue a draw.
Next up for Mayo is Kerry, while Armagh travel to league leaders Roscommon.
Scorers for Armagh: Rian O'Neill 0-6 (5fs, 145), Rory Grugan 0-4 (3fs), Andy Murnin and Conor Turbitt (1f) 0-3 each, Tiernan Kelly 0-1.
Scorers for Mayo: Ryan O'Donoghue 0-7 (6fs), Jordan Flynn, Cillian O'Connor, and Aidan O'Shea (1m) 0-2 each, Fionn McDonagh, Matthew Ruane, James Carr, and Colm Reape (f) 0-1 each.
Armagh: Ethan Rafferty, Aaron McKay, Aidan Forker, Ross Finn, Paddy Burns, Barry McCambridge, Jarly Og Burns, Connaire Mackin, Stefan Campbell, Jemar Hall, Rory Grugan, Tiernan Kelly, Rian O’Neill, Andy Murnin, Conor Turbitt.
Subs: Niall Grimley for Finn (HT), Callum Cumiskey for Mackin (49’), Ross McQuillan for Kelly (61’).
Mayo: Colm Reape, David McBrien, Rory Brikenden, Jack Coyne, Stephen Coen, Conor Loftus, Enda Hession, Matthew Ruane, Fionn McDonagh, Jack Carney, Bob Tuohy, Jordan Flynn, Aidan O’Shea, James Carr, Ryan O’Donoghue.
Subs: Cillian O’Connor for Carr (temp sub), Cillian O’Connor for Carney (41’), Eoghan McLoughlin for McDonagh (49’), Darren McHale for Tuohy (56’), Conor McStay for Carr (61’), Donnacha McHugh for O’Shea (72’).
Referee: Fergal Kelly (Longford).