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The theme of Sunday’s Gaelic Park schedule continued with Armagh using a late surge to grab the victory over a Leitrim side that never played to their abilities.
Armagh opened the scoring when Alan McFeeran had the first point, with Kieran Conlon a huge help on the play. Armagh continued their dominance of the game in the first 10 minutes of the game but were only able to add one further score in that time to their total. Conlon was the marksman, but it was James Moynagh who sent a long ball to the square and a nifty corner forwarded picked up the break.
Leitrim finally came into the outing with 12 minutes on the clock when they rattled off the first of three points in quick succession. Kenny O’Connor used his left peg after pulling down a high ball in from Gerard Farrell and was again involved for their second score. This time he was fouled for a free which Dan Doona converted.
The sides swapped scores. The best score of the game followed and it arrived for Armagh.
Kevin McGeeney went on a long solo run straight through the middle of the Leitrim defense. When he was finally subdued he flicked the ball to Brian Murphy who chipped over.
Leitrim did have a Colin Cronin point when Rory Woods set him up, but Murphy again pushed Armagh in front by one.
With the first half coming to its end Leitrim broke into the lead in an opportune fashion. A long ball was fielded by Armagh. New York keeper Alan Hearty, as he left the friendly confines of his box, appeared to be fouled by Leitrim’s Tommy Dolan. No whistle arrived, however, and Dolan was able to get first touch to the loose ball and stroke it to the back of the net. It gave his team a two point halftime cushion.
Armagh were completely on top in the opening period of the second half. Moynagh had two points, the first from a free, the second a brilliant individual effort to level the contest. Conlon followed it with a third consecutive score a long range free.
The dominance continued with man of the match Moynagh getting his third of the half. Leitrim were posing no threat as Armagh were now gunning for the victory.
Kevin Rodgers added to their total, and when Brian Murphy came forward it was six points in a row. Finally Leitrim had a point with a free from Doona, but it arrived with 15 minutes gone in the half -- they were down by three and were making no real threat.
Conlon cancelled out the Doona score to put Armagh four ahead with seven minutes left.
Completely against the run of play, Leitrim made one final comeback attempt that was nearly miraculous.
Doona had two points from frees before Adrian O’Connor stormed down the center and rifled a right footed shot over the bar when he was certainly thinking under. They appeared to have saved the day, but Armagh were able to create one last attack when Conlon pointed a late free to get the deserved victory.
Armagh: 1 Alan Hearty, 2 Aidan Morton, 3 Collie Fearon, 4 Patsy Martin, 5 Caolen Short, 6. Brian Rogan, 7 Karl McVery, 8 James Donnelly, 9. Kevin McGeeney, 10. Alan McFeeran, 11 Kevin Rodgers, 12 James Moynagh, 13 Kieran Conlon, 14 Brian Murphy, 15 Richie Morgan.
Leitrim: 1. Pa Ryan, 2 Lonan Maguire, 3 Alan Looney, 4 Dermot Kane, 5 Johnny Goldrick, 6. Kieran Scannell, 7. Mike Creegan, 8 Pat Madden, 9 Tommy Dolan, 10 Ger Farrell, 11 Colin Cronin, 12 Dan Doona, 13 Kenny O’Connor, 14 Rory Woods, 15 Adrian O’Connor.
Man of the match: James Moynagh.