McKenna Cup: Armagh provide sting in the tail to down Cavan

Ross McQuillan seals victory with late goal at Breffni Park

Cavan 0-11 Armagh 1-12

Armagh produced a sting in the tail to overcome Dr McKenna Cup hosts Cavan at a Siberian-like Kingspan Breffni Park on Thursday night.

Cavan scored just three frees in the first half but their improved second-half showing wasn’t enough to deny the visitors, who notched an unanswered 1-2 in the dregs of the game.

The opening quarter was as dismal as the dank, dark surrounds with Cavan recording two frees to go 0-2 to 0-0 in front before Armagh went up through the gears to construct a 0-6 to 0-3 interval lead with six separate players getting on the scoresheet by the break.

Cavan had started on the front foot and went 0-2 to 0-0 in front but the power and fetching abilities of the likes of Connaire Mackin, Jarlath Óg Burns, Stephen Sheridan and Stefan Campbell helped greatly in turning the tide.

Cavan lacked inspiration and a cutting edge though they conjured up the only goal chance of the first half, but substitute Thomas Galligan could only fist the ball wide after Oisín Brady's effort fell short, leaving Armagh leading by 0-6 to 0-3 at the interval.

Slanting sheets of rain joined the combatants for what was a high-tempo run-in with the smart money going on a draw after Armagh’s Rian O’Neill’s fisted point after 71 minutes made it 0-11 apiece.

The visitors finished with a flourish as a Rory Grugan free preceded a last second counterattack which saw Ross McQuillan plant the ball into an empty net after Cavan goalkeeper Ray Galligan had joined Cavan's earlier fruitless attack.

CAVAN: R Galligan (0-1, free); E Finnegan, K Brady, L Fortune; O Kiernan, C Conroy, J McLoughlin; J Smith (0-1), M Argue; O Brady, G McKiernan (0-6, three frees), Cian Madden; Conor Madden (0-1), Paddy Lynch (0-2), R O'Neill.

Subs: T Galligan for R O'Neill (32 mins); K Clarke for M Argue (h/t); G Smith for E Finnegan (45); Cormac O'Reilly for Conor Madden (58); J McKenna for Cian Madden (58); Caoimhín O'Reilly for C Conroy (62); B Kelly for P Lynch (66); F O'Reilly for O Brady (67); P Smith for J McKenna (71, inj).

ARMAGH: B Hughes; R Finn, A McKay, C Mackin (0-1); C Mackin, G McCabe (0-1), J Óg Burns (0-2); S Sheridan (0-1), N Grimley; J Hall (0-2), A Nugent (0-1), S Campbell; R Grugan (0-2, two frees), R O'Neill (0-1), A Forker (0-1).

Subs: C Turbitt for A Forker (42 mins); R McQuillan (1-0) for J Hall (49); J Morgan for G McCabe (53); J Kieran for S Sheridan (58); C O'Hanlon for S Campbell (60); C Higgins for R Finn (63); N Rowland for J Óg Burns (66).

Referee: A Marron (Monaghan).