Ulster Senior Hurling Championship Quarter-Final
Armagh 2-17 Monaghan 2-7 29/5/11
Monaghan pushed Armagh all the way in Sunday’s Ulster SHC quarter-final at Páirc Esler in Newry. Monaghan trailed by just a point midway through the second half, by which stage Mickey McHugh had sent two penalties over the bar, but hot favourites Armagh moved clear in the final quarter to book their place in the semi-finals. Conor Corvan, Paul McCormack, David Carville and Ryan Gaffney played key roles for Armagh, while Monaghan had strong performances from Stephen Lambe, Ronan Meegan, Pauric Dowdall, Peter Treanor and Jim McHugh.
A point from a penalty by McHugh and a Stephen Lambe free settled Monaghan into the game and although they found themselves four points in arrears approaching the half-hour mark, a Brian McGuigan goal closed the gap. Armagh finished the half strongly, however, with a goal by Conor Corvan and points from Ryan Gaffney and Martin Moen, which saw them lead by 1-8 to 1-3 at the interval.
McHugh blazed another penalty over the bar after the restart, but a cracking goal from Lambe and a Ronan Meegan point kept Monaghan in touch. Rising star Fergal Rafter, still a minor, came on as a sub and scored a long-range free to close the gap to a point, but a goal from sub Neil Duffy handed the initiative back to Armagh, who pulled away with a string of points in the closing stages.
Armagh: S Doherty; B Mallob, N Curry, F Woods; JJ Hughes, R McGrattan (0-1), B McCormack (0-1f); D Carville (0-2), M Moen (0-2); C Carvill, P Heaney, R Gaffney (0-6, 4f); C Corvan (1-2), P McCormack (0-2, 1f), M Lennon (0-1).
Subs: N Duffy (1-0) for P McCormack (46 mins), C Reid for Heaney (50), T Duffy for Lennon, A Mackle for Corvan (both 66).
Monaghan: H Byrne; A Lambe, P Murphy, P Treanor; M Treanor, P Dowdall, J McHugh; G Boyd, T Hilliard (Capt.); S Lambe (1-1, 0-1f), S Leonard, É Mac Suibhne; B McGuigan (1-0), M McHugh (0-3, 2 pens), R Meegan (0-2).
Subs: G Dooley for A Lambe (25), F Rafter (0-1f) for Mac Suibhne (43), PJ Boyle for M McHugh (65).
Referee: D Magee (Down).