Tyrone survive late rally frtom 14-man Armagh

Tyrone 0-13

Armagh 0-11

TYRONE made hard enough work of yesterday’s All-Ireland group stage clash against Armagh in O’Neill’s Healy Park but nonetheless will be pleased to get points on the board ahead of their third and final round robin match against Westmeath in a fortnight’s time.

The Red Hands were in cruise control early in the second-half, having built up a five-point lead against a Armagh side that had been rocked by the sending off of Rian O’Neill late in the opening period for an off-the-ball incident.

However, they grew jittery in the closing stages and ended up reliant on two wonderful scores from Darragh Canavan to keep Armagh at arm’s length. Even at that, they nearly blew it when goalkeeper Niall Morgan, who otherwise had a fine game, made an uncharacteristic fumble deep into stoppage time, but his blushes were spared by an alert Michael McKernan.

Tyrone played most of the good football in the first-half and built up a 0-8 to 0-4 lead at the interval. Darren McCurry hit three points from play in the opening 35 minutes while Mattie Donnelly, named as man of the match, excelled in a free role throughout.

Armagh did have their moments but they failed to capitalise on three goal chances in the first quarter and things took a turn for the worse when their joint-captain and talisman Rian O’Neill was red carded.

Tyrone came out flying in the second-half but Armagh to their credit fought hard and chipped away at the deficit with a string of frees from Rory Grugan and Conor Turbitt. The Red Hands weren’t to be denied however with Darragh Canavan popping up with two late clutch scores.

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