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Armagh's recovery falls short in Galway showdown


 Black mark: Armagh's Gary McCooey was black carded

Black mark: Armagh's Gary McCooey was black carded

©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Black mark: Armagh's Gary McCooey was black carded

Galway 2-14 Armagh 1-13: The concession of two goals in the opening four minutes shocked Armagh at Tuam Stadium yesterday and while they eventually recovered, they were unable to close out the win which would keep their promotion hopes alive.

Armagh's defence was taken apart by a two-man Galway full-forward line and by the interval their exasperated manager Paul Grimley had substituted half of his defence.

Tony Kernan, Eugene McVerry and Rory Grogan did their upmost to keep Armagh in the game after the concession of the two early goals by Eddie Hoare and Michael Martin, but the Orchard County still trailed by 2-8 to 0-9 at the interval despite having played with the strong breeze at their backs.

Armagh improved immeasurably after the restart and Grogan was unlucky to be denied a goal as they tried to force a fightback.

Their hopes of a revival suffered a setback when Gary McCooey was sent off with a black card for a high tackle, having earlier been booked.

Yet, Armagh continued to dominate possession despite being down a man and a cracking goal from Tony Kernan after 50 minutes brought them right back into contention.

Galway managed just two points in half an hour with the wind behind them and Armagh looked set to take the points when Kevin Dyas got his third point of the game.

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Finian Moriarty levelled the match six minutes from time, but Fiontán O Curraoin got on top again in the middle of the field for Galway and they closed out a priceless victory with four unanswered points in the closing stages.

Former Kildare star James Kavanagh edged them in front with a fisted point five minutes from the end.

Paul Conroy and Mike Farragher also found their range before Thomas Flynn hit an insurance point to see off an Armagh side who will host Donegal in their final league match next Sunday.

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