Home Cheap jerseys Armagh weathered storm Cavan to start 2022 with Dr McKenna’s Cup win

Armagh weathered storm Cavan to start 2022 with Dr McKenna’s Cup win


Dr McKenna Cup Section B, first round: Cavan 0-11 Armagh 1-12

From Andy Watters to Kingspan Breffni

ONE STEWARD joked, “There must be nothing on TV” as vehicles filled the capark at the back of the grandstand last night.

He obviously wasn’t expecting the action-packed 70 minutes the teams served in wintry conditions. Armagh led the first half, Cavan – who missed four scoring chances – led spells in the second, but it was ultimately the visitors who started their year with the win.

Manager Kieran McGeeney’s replacement Ciaran McKeever was pleased with what he saw from his Armagh side backed by experienced performers.

“We knew what we were going to get here – Cavan is always competitive, they put the men behind the ball, they make it tough and want to hit you at the counter,” he said.

“We were sometimes the architects of our fall in the second half by giving them a cheap ball and letting them in behind us, but in the last quarter the boys showed good poise and implemented what we worked on on the training ground. Ultimately it worked for us and we created some good scores and scored the goal at the end. “

It took seven minutes before the first score of 2022 arrived. Gearoid McKiernan scored a free kick after Armagh, who dominated the halftime by gobbling up possession from the midfield and cutting through Cavan’s defense with quick runs from the midfield, missed two chances.

Aidan Nugent also shot long and Cavan’s counterattacking tactics paid off as Burns and Jemar Hall combined to foul James Smith and Paddy Lynch gave the home side the lead after 11 minutes. .

Aidan Forker took Grugan’s pass and opened Armagh’s account with his trusty left boot, but Cavan’s direct run continued to draw fouls from Orchard’s defense. Ryan O’Neill was shot while driving forward and McKiernan again forced the placed ball.

Armagh’s defense was nervous but, going forward, they were too slick for their hosts. Grugan’s delicious pass sent Ciaran Mackin for a punch point, then Burns equalized when he joined the attack.

There were some misplaced passes you would expect at this point in the season and Conor Madden and Smith both missed out on good opportunities to send the Breffnimen back ahead.

Armagh’s wide tally had reached six in the 23rd minute, but Stephen Sheridan sent them into the lead for the first time with an excellent finish from Cavan’s 45-yard line. A point from Hall followed as the Orchardmen – using their range of high-profile options – filled the midfield and dominated Galligan’s restarts.

Grugan’s free kick left him 0-6 to 0-3 on the half hour and that, at the end of a half that Armagh had dominated while kicking nine wide, was the score at the interval although Cavan could have been tied. Thomas Galligan’s movie didn’t go to the wrong end of Blaine Hughes’ right post.

Icy rain sheets greeted the players as they emerged for the second half, but Cavan, as they showed during their Ulster title run in 2019, can step up a gear; and they did. Smith struck out a point and Armagh’s goal lived an enchanted life as McKiernan sort of shot wide with the yawning goal and Smith hammered a shot off the crossbar.

McKiernan atoned for his previous failure to leave one, Conor Madden equalized and another from McKiernan gave Cavan the lead after five electric minutes.

And there was no slacking off. Hall’s second point equalized again and Hughes brilliantly saved Conor Madden before Burns beat the visitors.

McKiernan equalized, then Armagh missed a rock-solid scoring chance. Men in orange shirts lined up to shoot, but Sheridan and then Nugent failed to apply the finishing touches before Greg McCabe tossed the ball over the bar at close range.

Galligan’s free-kick meant the teams were tied for the fourth time in the half, but Armagh responded again, this time through Nugent. Oisin Kiernan and Galligan both missed opportunities to restore parity as sleet turned to snow at Kingspan Breffni.

Lynch however found the target to leave him 0-10 apiece and the tackle action continued with both defenses putting the ball to safety under pressure before McKiernan scored for Cavan and Rian O’Neill responded. for Armagh.

Deep in stoppage time, O’Neill ran on Conor Turbitt’s ball and was dragged down. Grugan converted the free kick, then Ross McQuillan sent the ball into an empty net to send Armagh fans home with smiles on their frozen faces.

Cavan: R Galligan (0-1 free); E Finnegan, K Brady, L Fortune; O Kiernan, C Conroy, J McLoughlin; J Smith (0-1), M Argue; O Brady, G McKiernan (0-6, 0-2 none), Cian Madden; Conor Madden (0-1), P Lynch (0-2 free), R O’Neill

Subs: T Galligan for O’Neill (33), K Clarke for Argue (HT), G Smith for Finnegan (45), C O’Reilly for Conor Madden (59), J McKenna for Cian Madden (59), CO ‘ Reilly for Conroy (61), B Kelly for Lynch (66), P Smith for McKenna (70)

Yellow card: K Brady (42)

Armagh: B Hughes; R Finn, A McKay, Ciaran Mackin (0-1); Connaire Mackin, G McCabe (0-1), J Og Burns (0-2); S Sheridan (0-1), N Grimley; J Hall (0-2), A Nugent (0-1), S Campbell; R Grugan (0-2 frees), R O’Neill (0-1), A Forker (0-1)

Subs: C Turbitt for Forker (42), R McQuillan (1-0) for Hall (50), J Morgan for McCabe (53), J Kieran for Sheridan (59), C O’Hanlon for Campbell (61), C Higgins for Finn (63), N Rowland for Burns (66)

Yellow card: McCabe (53)

Referee: A Marron (Monaghan)