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Battling Armagh dealt further All-Ireland woe

Armagh 1-15 - Mayo 2-16

By Steve Malone

Armagh's hurlers suffered All-Ireland final defeat for the second time in as many years as Mayo won their first senior title in the Nicky Rackard decider.

The Orchard were level at Croke Park with time almost up but inspired by Kenny Feeney (1-9) and dual star Keith Higgins, a skilful Mayo pulled away.

The Orchard's shooting was the real killer as they struck 11 wides. Armagh got off to a terrible start when, with only two minutes played, Mayo's Darren McTigue slotted home a goal.

However, they clawed their way back with David Carvill pointing from a tight angle, while Mayo's Feeney registered his first point of the afternoon.

Ryan Gaffney tapped over a free and Cathal Carvill made a great catch and score to lift Armagh's spirits. But Joe McManus, Feeney (free) and Sean Ryan extended the Westerners lead.

Declan Coulter grabbed Armagh's fourth point on 24 minutes and Gaffney (65'), David Carvill and Coulter all scored to level. Conor Corvan's strike gave Armagh the lead on 34 minutes. Feeney's converted free levelled the score but again Armagh edged ahead through Coulter.

Feeney tapped over as the sides finished the half level.

Eoin McGuinness then buried his shot into the Mayo net, but Feeney and Shane Boland chipped in with vital points.

Feeney's goal on 56 minutes put Mayo in the driving seat but Gaffney, McGuinness and Coulter kept Armagh in it. Talisman Coulter was taken off injured and Mayo finished strongly.

Armagh Scorers: D Coulter (0-5), E McGuinness (1-1), R Gaffney (0-4, 3f, 65), D Carvill (0-2), C Corvan (0-2), C Carvill (0-1).

Mayo Scorers: K Feeney (1-9, 7f), D McTigue (1-0), F Boland (0-2), S Boland (0-1) J McManus (0-1), S Regan (0-2), C Scahill (0-1). Referee: J Murphy (Limerick).


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