Meath inflict third defeat on Armagh
Meath 1-20 Armagh 2-10: Armagh manager David Kennedy can be forgiven for thinking that Meath have the Indian sign on his side.
A third defeat this year at the hands of the Royals – the others were in the Keogh Cup and Allianz League – mean that the Orchard County is now consigned to the subsidiary section of the Christy Ring Cup.
"We looked as if we had got the upper hand when we led at various stages of the game but Meath finished strongly and we had no answer to that," said Kennedy.
Certainly Armagh looked comfortable with their 1-7 to 0-6 interval advantage, Conor Corvan's 28th minute goal cementing their authority.
And they exuded an even more confident demeanour when a Ciaran Reid goal thrust them ahead by 2-8 to 0-8 in the 43rd minute.
But Meath, with Adam Gannon an impressive deputy for injured skipper Stephen Donoghue and Stephen Clynch an accurate sharpshooter, derived inspiration from a Barry Slevin goal in the 57th minute and proceeded to fire over seven unanswered points in the closing segment of the contest.
Declan Coulter and Cathal Carville, who had earlier been prolific in terms of finishing, were rather more subdued with the Armagh defence instead having to shoulder a heavy burden as the home side applied consistent pressure.
Meath scorers: S Clynch (0-6, 0-2 '65's', 0-2f), A Gannon (0-5), B Slevin (1-1), M O'Sullivan (0-4), S Heavey, S Morris, E Marsh, P Durnin (0-1 each).
Armagh scorers: D Coulter (0-5, 0-4f), C Corvan (1-1), C Reid (1-0), C Carville (0-2), J Burke (0-1,f), K McKernan (0-1).
Referee: Christopher Browne (Galway).