Lennon pulls the strings as Harps strike a glorious note
Armagh Harps 2-9 Maghery 0-11
At half-time in last night's Armagh senior football championship final the possibility of Harps demolishing Maghery's aspirations of landing back-to-back titles looked as remote as their prospects of having their supper on the moon.
Yet, in a remarkable second-half transformation, Harps not only ended a 26-year wait for the county title but announced that they might just be worth keeping an eye on in the Ulster club championship.
Trailing by 0-5 to 0-2 at half-time, Harps looked the quintessential beaten docket, a listless, disjointed side.
Yet within four minutes in the second-half all that was to change. Goals by Ryan McShane and man-of-the-match Ultan Lennon dramatically allowed Harps to take the driving seat from which they were never displaced.
Lennon, a wrecking-ball full-forward who landed 1-5 in all, epitomised the character and skill that had remained latent in the first-half while McShane, Charlie Vernon, Declan McKenna and goalkeeper Paddy Morrison turned in five-star performances.
If Lennon's feat at one end of the pitch earned plaudits, then Morrison's spectacular save in the closing minutes sealed Harps' success.
Maghery brought their traditional qualities to the table but not to the extent that they managed to sustain their influence.
Aiden and Stefan Forker, James Lavery and Ben Crealey did their best but on a night that saw the reincarnation of a side that has dwelt in the shadows for too long efforts proved in vail.
Lennon's succinct post-match analysis said it all."We knew at half-time we had to do something quick and thankfully things worked out for us," he declared.
Harps scorers: U Lennon 1-5 (2f), R McShane 1-1, C White, J McElroy, C Murphy 0-1 each.
Maghery scorers: A Forker 0-3 (2f), Stefan Forker 0-3, B Fox, J Lavery, C Mackle, R Lappin, Seamus Forker 0-1 each.
Referee; Kevin Faloon (Forkhill)