Relegated Wexford spring a surprise on promoted Armagh
Kieran McGeeney’s side kick a staggering 16 wides as they are beaten at Wexford Park
Paul McLoughlin saw his Wexford side surprise promoted Armagh. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho
Wexford 0-12 Armagh 0-8
Wexford manager Paul McLoughlin was happy to see his side end their five game losing run after they held out for a single point victory over a depleted Armagh side in this low key Allianz Division Three NFL game played at Innovate Wexford Park.
“We’ve had a difficult league campaign but at least we competed well today which gives us something to work off for the championship opener with Laois. Although relegated it was encouraging to end the league on a winning note,” said McLoughlin.
Armagh manager, Kieran McGeeney, said: “We simply did not compete in the first half, failing to register a single score, while kicking five easy chances wide. We may have had only a handful of regulars, but the team that started was our first team on the day. Although promoted they should still be proud to wear the county jersey, but kicking 16 wides tells its own story. We improved in the second half but it still fell just short.”
Wexford dominated the opening half leding 0-4 to 0-0 aafter 15 minutes, with free-taker Donal Shanley kicking three of their points, helping them to a 0-9 to 0-0 interval lead, with Armagh’s poor finishing leaving them in a difficult position at the break.
When Shanley increased that lead with a pointed free within three minutes of the restart it looked as if their dominance would continue, until Armagh eventually opened their account with 42nd minute point from substitute Aidan Forker, after Shanley had extended his side’s lead with a point from play.
Now trailing 0-11 to 0-1, Armagh continued to miss chances until Andrew Murrin found the net after 57 minutes, leaving the scoreline 0-12 to 1-4.
With Wexford failing to score for the closing 25 minutes, three points from Gavin McPartland reduced the deficit, while Aaron McKay had a shot come back off the crossbar. In additional time, Murin had a punched effort for goal rebound off the upright wide as the home side held out for victory.
Wexford: C Swaine; C Carty, J Rossiter, M Furlong; G Malone (0-1), N Rossiter, S Doyle; D Waters (0-1), B Malone; B Brosnan, N Doyle, E Nolan; J Stafford (0-2), D Shanley (0-6, 0-4 frees, 0-1 ‘45), P Curtis (0-1). Subs: D Pepper (0-1)for N Doyle (42), R Frayne for Stafford (48), T Rossiter for Brosnan (50); M O’Neill for S Doyle (55), N Doyle for Curtis (66).
Armagh: B Hughes; O Lappin, A McKay, J Cosgrove; R Kennedym, B Donaghy, G McCabe (0-1), S Sheridan, A Findon; R Lappin, A Duffy, O MacIomhair (0-1); G McPartland (0-3), A Murnin (1-1), B Crealey. Subs: C Vernon for Duffy (22), A Forker (0-1) for Findon (23), N Grimley (0-1) for Lappin (31), P Morrison for Hughes (ht), R Grugan for Crealey (50), P Burns for Donaghy (55), Donaghy for Kennedy (66).
Referee: J Hickey (Carlow).