Armagh overpower Wexford to record comfortable victory
Goals from Ethan Rafferty and Ciaron O’Hanlon provide platform for Division Three win
Ethan Rafferty’s goal put Armagh ahead by 1-8 to 0-5 after 43 minutes against Wexford at Wexford Park. Photograph: Inpho
Armagh 2-13 Wexford 1-8
Armagh opened nervously falling four points adrift inside the opening 15 minutes but they eventually overpowered Wexford winning with a comfortable eight points to spare in this Division Three Allianz League match at Wexford Park on Sunday.
Some well worked scores in the opening 15 minutes leading to points from Adrian Flynn (2), Kevin O’Grady and a long Ben Brosnan free had the home side leading 0-4 to 0-0, a deserved lead which could have been greater with more accurate finishing.
While Armagh had to wait until the 17th minute for their opening score, a Stefan Campbell pointed free, Wexford lost a golden chance of moving six points clear one minute later when after knifing his way through the defence, Kevin O’Grady fired across a gaping goal and wide, with only goalkeeper Niall Geoghegan to beat.
After a further pointed Campbell free, Wexford lost midfielder Paddy Byrne to a black card on 25 minutes, leading to Armagh taking the initiative as Ethan Rafferty finished a long Tony Kernan ball to the net to give his side an interval lead of 1-5 to 0-4, a somewhat flattering scoreline.
Armagh had the upper hand on the resumption as Campbell and Aaron Findon took total control in midfield. Points from Campbell, Aidan Forker along with two from Ethan Rafferty putting them ahead 1-8 to 0-5 after 43 minutes and looking in total control.
While Armagh were holding control around the middle third of the pitch, Wexford managed to bounce back for a Kevin O’Grady pointed free, before he found the net with a tremendous left footed shot to reduce the deficit to 1-9 to 1-6 after 52 minutes giving some hope of a second half recovery.
But Armagh were beginning to show their physical presence as they responded with four unanswered points through Raftery and Campbell, both frees, Charlie Vernon and sub Gavin McParland to wrest control of the game.
Five minutes from the end it was substitute Ciaron O’Hanlon who took control of a delightful Campbell cross-field ball to move forward before crashing a great shot across goalkeeper Shane Roche into the opposite corner of the net. While Wexford finished with two pointed Kevin O’Connor frees they fell way short once Armagh threw down the challenge.
WEXFORD: S Roche; P O’Keeffe, J Breen, M Furlong; J Wadding, B Malone, S Donohoe; P Byrne, C Kehoe; R Tierney, A Flynn (0-2), K O’Grady (1-2); B Brosnan (0-2,one free), K Rowe, E Nolan. Subs: P. Kelly for Byrne (bc, 25 mins), K O’Connor (0-2, frees) for Rowe (47 mins), N harney for Flynn (52 mins), J Holmes for Wadding (58 mins), D Murphy for O’Grady (bC, 58 mins).
ARMAGH: N Geoghan; A Mallon, C Vernon (0-1), M Murray; B Donaghy, F Moriarty, S Connell; A Findon, S Campbell (0-7, six frees); E Raftery (1-3, 0-1 free), A Forker (0-1), S Harold; M McKenna, C Raftery, N McConville. Subs: T Kernan for Harold (34 mins), M Shields for Connell (bc, 35 mins), G McParland (0-1) for McConville (42 mins), E McVeery for Forker (60 mins), C O’Hanlon (1-0) for C Rafferty (63 mins).
Referee: C Lane (Cork).