Armagh’s first-half goal blitz leaves Fermanagh for dead at Brewster Park

Kieran McGeeney’s side will face Down in an Ulster semi-final after comfortable 11-point win

Ulster SFC quarter-final: Fermanagh 0-9 Armagh 3-11

Three first-half goals saw Armagh cruise through to an Ulster Championship semi-final against Down following a comfortable 11-point victory over a poor Fermanagh side at Brewster Park.

Kieran McGeeney’s Orchard side had the win in the bag before the interval, with Fermanagh punished for turning the ball over as Armagh broke at pace to find the net on a couple of occasions, as they went in at the break with a 3-4 to 0-2 advantage.

And they remained in control throughout the second half to set up that last four meeting with the Mournemen.

Armagh were on top from the outset as Andrew Murnin and Rian O’Neill landed the opening scores, although Fermanagh did have a glorious goal chance in the fifth minute when Oisín Smyth got on the end of an Ultan Kelm pass in front of the goal, but Armagh defender Aaron McKay brilliantly blocked his shot on the line.


Fermanagh then lost Kelm to a black card as he was adjudged to have pulled down Murnin and Armagh swooped for two goals during the spell.

The impressive Rory Grugan danced his way through a porous Erne rearguard in the 16th minute before feeding the ball to Conor Turbitt to tuck home.

And two minutes later the away side hit the back of the net again, Armagh forcing a turnover before breaking forward. And although Murnin had his shot saved by Ross Bogue, the ball spilled kindly to Jarly Óg Burns to tap home to make it 2-2 to 0-0.

Fermanagh finally opened their account in the 22nd minute through a Seán Cassidy free but Armagh replied with points from Ciarán Mackin and Óg Burns before they then struck for goal number three.

Again, Fermanagh were guilty of coughing the ball up, and Turbitt, Joe McElroy and Murnin combined to tee up Stefan Campbell who palmed in at the back post to put the game out of the Ernemen’s reach by the 28th minute.

Fionan O’Brien did rattle over a point for the home outfit late in the half but at the break Armagh were in complete control as they led by 11 points.

The Orchardmen were able to maintain their commanding advantage throughout the second half.

Turbitt and Garvan Jones traded points before Mackin swung over a score for McGeeney’s charges to make it 3-6 to 0-3.

A wonderful Grugan free from the right-hand sideline, and a Campbell point pushed Armagh further ahead, although Fermanagh did respond with points from Kelm and O’Brien.

Campbell brought his tally to 1-2 with another good point and although Fermanagh did land scores in the last 10 minutes through a brace from substitute Conor Love, a third point for O’Brien, and a Conor McShea effort, Armagh rounded things off with scores form substitutes Barry McCambridge and Oisín O’Neill to leave it 3-11 to 0-9 at the finish.

FERMANAGH: R Bogue; L Cullen, C Cullen, O Smyth; D McCusker, S McGullion, C McManus; R McCaffrey, J McDade; C McGee, C McShea (0-1), F O’Brien (0-3); U Kelm 90-1), G Jones (0-1, f), S Cassidy (0-1, f).

Subs: J Largo Elis for McManus (22 mins); B Horan for McGee, C Love (0-2, 0-1f) for Jones (both 48); J Cassidy for Smyth, D McGurn for McCusker (both 60).

ARMAGH: B Hughes; P Burns, A McKay, P McGrane; J McElroy, Ciarán Mackin (0-2), A Forker; R O’Neill (0-1), B Crealey; S Campbell (1-2), R Grugan (0-1, f), C Turbitt (1-1, 0-1f); O Conaty, A Murnin (0-1), J Óg Burns (1-1).

Subs: B McCambridge (0-1) for McKay (45 mins); O O’Neill (0-1) for Óg Burns (48); Connaire Mackin for Rian O’Neill, A Nugent for Murnin (both 56); T Kelly for Turbitt (63).

Referee: J McQuillan (Cavan).