Donegal ecstasy, Armagh heartbreak after Ulster final penalty shootout

webnexttech | Donegal ecstasy, Armagh heartbreak after Ulster final penalty shootout

It was final day pain for Armagh for a second time in as many year as Jim McGuinness worked his magic one more time. Ten years after steering Donegal to Ulster glory in his first tenue, McGuinness backed up wins over Derry and Tyrone with Sunday’s victory. After 90 minutes of action it went all the way to penalties with Shaun Patton the hero after his sudden death save to deny Shane McPartlan. The sides were level eight times in a first half when the heavens opened. Donegal began with Eoghan Bán Gallagher for his first game since their league win over Cavan. Forker opened the scoring before Gallen hit the first of five first half points. Both teams kicked well. Gallen and Shane O’Donnell putting Donegal 0-5 to 0-3 ahead after 16 minutes. Two points from Conor Turbitt and one from Andrew Murnin had the sides level 0-6 each, Murnin’s score after Armagh’s only press of the half on Patton’s kick-out. It was the Orchard County who nosed ahead by the break (0-10 to 0-9) with a second Ben Crealey point after Rory Grugan picked him out with a pass for an advanced mark. It was Armagh who took the second half under their wing with points from Turbitt and Conaty before Campbell kicked them 0-13 to 0-9 ahead inside five minutes. With Greg McCabe closing off the path to Gallen inside, it took two wonder scores from Niall O’Donnell as Donegal went 20 minutes without a score after leading 0-15 to 0-11. Langan and McGee kicked points for Donegal before McBrearty’s point took the game to extra-time. A McBrearty free edged Donegal ahead in extra time, their first lead since the 20th minute. Armagh missed two chances before Murnin levelled matters again. Two points from Nugent saw Armagh go in at the break ahead, 0-18 to 0-17. Mogan and Oisin O’Neill exchanged points before Nugent kicked Armagh two ahead. There was still time for Dáire Ó Baoill and Odhrán Doherty to take the game to penalties. Next up for Donegal is an all-Ulster clash with Tyrone in the opening round of the All-Ireland series. For Armagh, they’ll have dust themselves down ahead of their date with Division Three champions Westmeath to get their season back on track. Scorers for Armagh: C Turbitt 0-4, A Nugent 0-3 (2f), B Crealey (1m), A Murnin, O Conaty, S Campbell 0-2, R O’Neill (m), R Grugan, Ciarán Mackin, O O’Neill and A Forker 0-1 each Scorers for Donegal: O Gallen 0-6 (4f), P McBrearty (f), D Ó Baoill, P Mogan, S O’Donnell, N O’Donnell 0-2 each, M Langan, J McGee, J Mac Ceallabhuí and O Doherty 0-1 each Armagh: B Hughes; P Burns, A McKay, P McGrane; G McCabe; J McElroy, Ciarán Mackin, A Forker; R O’Neill, B Crealey; S Campbell, R Grugan, O Conaty; A Murnin, C Turbitt Subs: J Óg Burns for G McCabe (61), O O’Neill for B Crealey (66), A Nugent for C Turbitt (67), T Kelly for A Forker (70), J Duffy for J McElroy (HT ET), J Hall for P McGrane (79), S McPartlan for C Mackin (HT ET), C Turbitt for R O’Neill (85) Yellow cards: A Murnin (66), R O’Neill (73) Donegal: S Patton; B McCole, C Moore; M Curran; R McHugh, EB Gallagher; S O’Donnell, C McGonagle, P Mogan; J McGee, M Langan; C Thompson, D Ó Baoill; O Gallen, N O’Donnell Subs: C McColgan for M Curran (HT), P McBrearty for C Moore (42), A Doherty for D Ó Baoill (46), J Brennan for EB Gallagher (55), J Mac Ceallabhuí for C Thompson (67), O Doherty for O Gallen (72), D Ó Baoill for N O’Donnell (HT ET), C Thompson for P McBrearty (87) Yellow cards: J McGee (10), C Thompson (44) Attendance: 28, 896 Referee: M McNally (Monaghan)

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