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Ulster Minor Championship: Hard graft places Armagh in final

By Staff Reporter

Armagh are through to the Ulster Minor Football Championship Final for the first time since 2011 after a hard-earned win over last year's winners Monaghan in Clones on Saturday.

The teams were never separated by more than two points in a closely-contested game, ultimately decided by Armagh's strong finish, which saw them kick three unanswered points in the final five minutes, including added time.

Armagh hit three points from play in the first five minutes via Ryan Hughes (two) and Oisin O'Neill, although Barry McGinn's accuracy, mainly from frees, kept Monaghan in touch.

McGinn and David Garland added points for Monaghan, either side of a Hughes free, to send the Ulster champions in at half-time leading by 0-5 to 0-4.

Despite losing Jack Rafferty to a black card just after the restart, Armagh quickly struck for the only goal after he pounced on a loose ball.

Armagh sub Conor Cullen pointed a long-range free, but a brace by McGinn – taking his tally to six – and scores by Dermot Gleeson and David McAlister had Monaghan a point up inside the last 10 minutes and they twice went close to finding the net in a spell of superiority.

Monaghan had Mikey Murnaghan dismissed late on, however, for adding a black card to his earlier booking and there was still time for Padraig Judge, O'Neill and Caolan McConville to guide Armagh into the final against Donegal.

Belfast Telegraph

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