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Armagh's second half show topples Tipp

Tipperary 1-15 Armagh 1-17

By Jackie Cahill

A big midfield display from Niall Grimley and Jamie Clarke's late 1-1 steered Armagh past Tipperary in Saturday's All-Ireland SFC round 3B qualifier in Thurles.

Armagh brought a big travelling contingent to Semple Stadium and the Orchard hordes were smiling after gaining revenge on Tipp following April's Division 3 promotion shoot-out defeat at the Athletic Grounds.

Armagh, 0-8 to 0-10 behind at half-time, were much improved in the second half but they had to come from four points down to win by two.

Michael Quinlivan scored 3-1 in the league clash and his stunning 38th-minute goal had Tipp 1-10 to 0-9 in front on Saturday.

But last year's All-Ireland semi-finalists didn't score for 20 minutes after that and wind assisted Armagh worked their way back into contention, pressing up high on the hosts.

They eventually got ahead for the first time in the game through Clarke with nine minutes of normal time left and while Tipp got level, the Crossmaglen man netted on the breakaway in the final minute.

Clarke's goal was class, as he dropped the ball to the turf before coolly slotting home.

Tipp laid siege to the Armagh goal late on but the visitors held on for a gritty victory, in front of 6,823 spectators.

The big talking point after the game wasn't Armagh's win, as Tipp manager Liam Kearns lashed referee Paddy Neilan.

The Roscommon whistler needed a Garda escort off the pitch at full time and he denied Armagh a perfectly good goal in the first half, failing to play advantage as Gavin McParland stuck the ball in the net.

Tipp's Philip Austin suffered in the second half from more poor application of the advantage rule but manager Liam Kearns was more aggrieved with the suggestion from Neilan that Tipp's players were going to ground too easily.

Kearns said: "Look, I'm not going to comment too much on the referee other than to say I am very disappointed his performance. All I could see from him was this (diving motion).

"My players don't dive, and he was calling dives all over the pitch. He didn't cost us the game, Armagh deserved to win the match, but I would be disappointed with his display."

Armagh selector Paddy McKeever hailed the character of his players, as they fought back from that four-point deficit to book a slot in round 4B.

He said: "It is born out of similar losses they've had and the collective criticism from all quarters. I thought we were good value for our victory."

Tipperary scorers: J Keane 0-4 (2f), M Quinlivan 1-0, C Sweeney 0-3f, L Casey, K O'Halloran (1f) & J Kennedy (2f) 0-2 each, B Fox & P Austin 0-1 each.

Armagh scorers: N Grimley 0-8 (5f, 1 45), J Clarke 1-1, G McParland & R Grugan (1f) 0-2 each, A Forker, S Sheridan, G McCabe & S Campbell 0-1 each.

Belfast Telegraph

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