Armagh flattered by scoreline as Down cruise into semi-finals

Aidan Forker’s last-minute goal way too late to save Armagh

Armagh’s Eddie English (left) and Niall McConville move to tackle Michael Hughes of Down during their Ulster Football Under 21 Championship quarter-final at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh yesterday. Photograph: Jonathan Porter/Inpho/Presseye.

Armagh’s Eddie English (left) and Niall McConville move to tackle Michael Hughes of Down during their Ulster Football Under 21 Championship quarter-final at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh yesterday. Photograph: Jonathan Porter/Inpho/Presseye.

Wed, Mar 20, 2013, 23:41

Down cruised into the semi-finals of the Ulster Under-21 football championship last night with a comfortable win at the Athletic Grounds.

Armagh were very poor and struggled to string a few passes together. Aiden Forker drilled a free into the back of the net for a last-minute goal for Armagh, but they were flattered by the three point defeat.

Down led by 0-7 to 0-1 at half-time.

The Mournemen missed three goal chances in the opening 17 minutes. Danny Savage hit the crossbar, Mattie Bagnall fisted wide of an open goal and Savage had a shot well saved by goalkeeper Conor McKeown.

Armagh frequently took the wrong option and turned the ball over and Down were able to break at speed.

Michael Monan scored twice from play while full forward Savage, whose pace caused problems, scored from frees and play.

Poor in the preliminary round win over Fermanagh last week, Armagh only managed a solitary point from Eddie English in the 15th minute.

Their captain, Forker, did score a point seconds after the restart but Down did not have to get out of second gear as the rain poured down in the Athletic Grounds.

Armagh struggled to string more than two or three passes together and were 0-10 to 0-2 down after 40 minutes.

Two Niall McConville frees and a nice point from Jemar Hall closed the gap to five with seven minutes to go and despite Forker’s late strike, the result was never in doubt.