Donegal out of Dr. McKenna Cup after narrow loss to Armagh in Omagh

Peter Campbell


Peter Campbell

Donegal out of Dr. McKenna Cup after narrow loss to Armagh in Omagh

Jamie Brennan on the ball for Donegal against Armagh Picture: Thomas Gallagher

Donegal are out of the Dr. McKenna Cup after losing by a point to Armagh in Healy Park, Omagh.

Donegal 1-10
Armagh 0-14

There was little between the sides throughout with the sides level four times in the first half and five times in the second.
Armagh had a strong team selection with Jamie Clarke in from the start. Donegal had the aid of a strong breeze and started well, leading by 0-4 to 0-1 after 14 minutes. Two of those points came from Jamie Brennan, both from 45m and Michael Langan also hit a long range effort.
Armagh hit back and were on level terms by the 21st minute with points from Jemar Hall, Niall Grimley and Stefan Campbell.
Donegal were back in front when Niall O'Donnell hit a great pass to Caolan McGonagle and he crossed for Jason McGee to fist to the Armagh net.
However, three points in four minutes from Niall Grimley, Rory Grugan and Rian O'Neill had Armagh level again. Jamie Brennan cut through to fist a point from 25 yards but before half-time Stefan Campbell and Niall Grimley had points to leave Armagh in a strong position on the turnover, leading 0-9 to 1-5.
Michael Langan had Donegal level before the sides exchanged four points with some great scores to be level after 47 minutes - Caolan McGonagle and Ciaran Thompson for Donegal; Jemar Hall and Stefan Campbell for Armagh.
Niall Grimley pushed Armagh ahead again but Jason McGee hit a brilliant equaliser. Stephen Sheridan again edged Armagh ahead but the lively Jamie Brennan levelled with six minutes left.
Rory Grugan had Armagh ahead again with two minutes left as Donegal were penalised for the handpass rule on a good attack and in the final seconds they had a 45m free which Ryan McHugh elected to go short but his pass to Ciaran Thompson was cut out. There was an option of allowing Caolan McGonagle to go for the equaliser.
Overall, Donegal will be reasonably happy with Jamie Brennan their standout performer. But apart from Brennan, the attack lacked directness.

Scorers - Armagh: Niall Grimley 0-4,3f; Rory Grugan 0-3,1f; Stefan Campbell 0-3; Jemar Hall 0-2; Stephen Sheridan, Rian O'Neill 0-1 each.
Donegal: Jason McGee 1-1; Jamie Brennan 0-4, one from mark; Michael Langan 0-2,1f; Ciaran Thompson 0-2; Caolan McGonagle 0-1.

DONEGAL: Mark Anthony McGinley: Caolan Ward, Brendan McCole, Conor Morrison; Ryan McHugh, Tony McClenaghan, Paul Brennan; Hugh McFadden, Jason McGee; Martin McElhinney, Niall O'Donnell, Caolan McGonagle; Ciaran Thompson, Michael Langan, Jamie Brennan.
Subs., Eamonn Doherty for Morrison ht; Peadar Mogan for McClenaghan; Martin O'Reilly for N O'Donnell, both 48; Oisin Gallen for McElhinney 60;

ARMAGH: Blaine Hughes; Connaire Mackin, Ryan Kennedy, James Morgan; Mark Shields, Brendan Donaghy, Aidan Forker; Stephen Sheridan, Niall Grimley; Jemar Hall, Rory Grugan, Ryan McShane; Stefan Campbell, Rian O'Neill, Jamie Clarke.
Subs., Greg McCabe for Forker 10; Jarlath Og Burns for R O'Neill 60; Joe McElroy for R McShane 64; Charlie Vernon for Hall 68; Jack Grugan for S Campbell 70

REFEREE: Paul Faloon (Down)