Cork pip Armagh in thriller but are still relegated

Famed Rebel County will be playing Division Three football next year for the first time

Brian Hurley: scored two goals for Cork in the victory over Armagh at the Athletic Grounds. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Brian Hurley: scored two goals for Cork in the victory over Armagh at the Athletic Grounds. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Armagh 1-14 Cork 3-9

It was a case of so near yet so far for Cork as their brave, wholehearted display against Armagh at the Athletic Grounds yielded two well-deserved league points only for the team’s efforts to come to nothing following Clare’s win over Tipperary.

A two-goal blitz from Brian Hurley in the opening ten minutes fired Cork into the driving seat and by half-time they still looked comfortable at 2-6 to 0-6.

But it was in the third quarter that Armagh robustly fired over six points to which their visitors could only manage one in reply.

A goal from a penalty by Jamie Clarke in the 62nd minute set the scene for a grandstand finish in which the sides were deadlocked at 3-7 to 1-13 with Cork’s goal having been scored by Kevin Crowley.

Just when it looked as if Armagh had snatched the game out of the fire, though, Cork substitutes Cian Kiely and Damian Gore stepped into the spotlight to fire over a vital brace of points that sealed victory for their side.

But it could not prevent them from taking an ignominious tumble into Division Three for the first time in their history.

ARMAGH: B Hughes; P Burns, J McElroy (0-1), P Hughes; R Kennedy, B Donaghy, A Forker (0-1); J Og Burns (0-1), N Grimley (0-1, f); R Grugan (0-5, 4f), C Vernon, J Hall (0-1); E Rafferty, P Casey (0-1), S Campbell. Subs: J Clarke (1-0) for Campbell (29), R O’Neill (0-3 ,2f), J Morgan for Hughes (50), A Nugent for Casey (58).

CORK: M White; K Flahive, T Clancy, C Dennehy; K Crowley (1-0), T Clancy, M Taylor: I Maguire, C O’Hanlon; E McSweeney (0-2), J O’Rourke (0-1), R Deane; B Hurley (2-1), M Collins (0-2, 1f), S White. Subs: K O’Driscoll for O’Rourke (26), C Kiely (0-2) for Taylor (h/t), D Gore (0-1) for Hurley (48), P Kelleher for McSweeney (65), S Cronin for Walsh (73).

Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois).

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