A powerful second half performance from the Orchard County men put paid to the challenge of the hosts in today’s Nicky Rackard Cup clash in Dowdallshill. Despite playing the entire second half with 14 men, and the final few minutes with 13, Armagh had enough to spare over Louth. Things may have turned out differently though had Brian Corcoran’s penalty effort found the back of the net with ten minutes left. However, Armagh netminder Simon Doherty proved his worth and did so again in the final act of the game stopping another penalty effort, this time from Diarmuid Murphy. Armagh were full value for their win though and with the added advantage of playing in a higher league division, the Orchard County will be hot favourites to win the Nicky Rackard Cup outright.
The opening passages of the game were tight and indeed there was just a single point between the sides after 20 minutes, with the visitors leading 0-4 to 0-3. Armagh corner forward Ryan Lewis was prominent in the early stages grabbing two fine points from play while Louth captain Shane Callan’s long-range effort was one of his sides best of the day. However, the visitors stepped up the intensity of their game and finished the half strongly. A 33rd minute point from Lewis, his fourth of the half established a three-point lead for Armagh, although his side were dealt a blow on the stroke of half time after wing forward Ryan Gaffney received his marching orders.
Half Time: LOUTH 0-06 ARMAGH 0-09
Buoyed by the man advantage, Louth got the perfect start to the second half when corner forward Adrian Wallace’s goal levels the sides. Instead of acting as a catalyst for the home side though, it was Armagh who grew in stature. A 12-minute spell yielded six unanswered points with David Carvill in superb form. Mattock Rangers man Gary Rellis pointed beautifully from the wing but a fine score from Paul McCormack and another from Carvill extended the Armagh lead. Louth hopes were further dashed with Doherty’s frst penalty save and although McCormack received his second yellow card of the contest on 68 minutes, the away side had established enough of a cushion to run out nine-point winners at the finish.
Full Time: LOUTH 1-08 ARMAGH 0-20
LOUTH: James Connolly; Domhnall McArdle, Wesley Morrissey, Mark Wallace; Donagh O’Sullivan, Ronan Byrne (0-1), Derek Horan; Shane Callan (0-1), Darren O’Hanrahan; David Dunne, Shane Fennell (0-3), Diarmuid Murphy; Kevin McNally, Brian Corcoran (0-2), Adrian Wallace (1-0)
Subs used: Gary Rellis (0-1) for K McNally (52), Gerard Smyth for O’Hanrahan (68)
Subs not used: Eddie McArdle, Andrew McCrave, David Mahony, Shane Maguire, Brian Carter, Oisin Drumm, Gary O’Brien, Donal Rafferty, Daire McKiernan
ARMAGH: Simon Doherty; Michael Garvey, Ciaran Clifford, Conor McKee; Paul Gaffney, Nathan Curry, Kieran McKernan; James King (0-1), Paul McCormack (0-2); Ryan Gaffney (0-2), Martin Maguire, David Carvill (0-8); Ryan Lewis (0-4), Conor Corvan (0-1), Cathal Carvill
Subs used: Ruairi McGrattan (0-2) for J King (52), Donal Carvill for M Garvey (54)
Subs not used: Paddy Heaney, Fiachra Bradley, Anthony Carvill, Ethan Carvill, Conor Coulter, Donal Carvill, Pauric Hughes, Nathan Green, Ciaran Reid, Fintan Woods
Article from louth.gaa.ie