Missed chances and a series of errors cost Monaghan dearly as Armagh staged a strong finish to get their Nicky Rackard Cup campaign off to a winning start but they were pushed all the way by a resilient Monaghan, who will feel hard done by that they did not take something out of this match. The sides were deadlocked at 0-12 to 1-9 at half-time, the Monaghan goal by Tadhg Campbell in the sixth minute and the sides were level seven times times during that opening period. Monaghan started the second-half well and opened a three points lead by the eighth minute, but then conceded an unnecessary goal to hand the initiative back to the home side. In a tit-for-tat second half a goal from a penalty restored Monaghan to the lead in the fifteenth minute, but Armagh were then awarded a penalty in the twenty-first minute, that saw them take a three points lead. With ten minutes remaining they had opened a six points lead and held out in a hectic finish, to clinch victory by six points, although in truth they were not a six points better team on the day.
Teams and Scorers: Armagh: Simon Doherty, Caolan Rice, Artie McGuinness, Paddy McGrane 0-1, Davy Bridges, Ciaran Clifford, Tiarnan Nevin, Odhran Curry 0-1, Paul Gaffney 0-2, Shaun Toal, Nathan Curry 1-4 (1-0pen, 0-2 ‘65’s), Dean Gaffney 0-8 (8f), Stephen Renaghan, Dylan McKenna 1-2, Danny Magee 0-2. Subs: Glen McKeown for S S Toal, Odhran McCann for S Renaghan.
Monaghan: Patrick Bermingham, Colin Merrick, Peter Treanor 0-1, Jamie Guinan, Conor McKenna, Conor Gernon, Martin Murphy 0-3, Tadhg Campbell 1-2, Eoin Leonard, Pearse McKenna, Mark Treanor 0-1, Conor Boyle, Brian McGuigan 0-1, Stephen Lambe 0-1 (f), Fergal Rafter 1-4 (1-0 pen, 0-3f). Subs: Luke McKenna 0-1 for C Boyle, Cathal Power for P McKenna, Eamon Sheehan for C Gernon.
Referee: Chris Mooney (Dublin).