Nicky Rackard Cup: Sligo pip Armagh to lift back-to-back championships
Gerard O’Kelly Lynch bookends the match with goals to see his side home by a point
Sligo celebrate their Nicky Rackard Cup success. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho
Sligo 2-14 Armagh 2-13
Gerard O’Kelly Lynch started the game as he finished it - with goals - as he masterminded Sligo to Nicky Rackard Cup glory.
That means back-to-back championships for the Westerners, although they never had it easy against an Armagh side who, following the concession of an early goal, had drawn level by the quarter mark with Eoin McGuinness helping himself to a brace of points.
The rest of half would see Sligo pump a lot of high ball into their rotating full forward line without too much effect, before Armagh’s Danny Magee found the back of the net with two minutes to go after his shot had gone off the stick of Sligo keeper Mark Burke.
A point from half way from Nathan Curry would bring Armagh’s lead out to three points in injury-time before Ronan Cox replied for Sligo to leave his team trailing 1-10 to 1-9 at the break.
Sligo were back on level terms following successive frees from Keith Raymond and it was still all to play for with ten minutes to go.
And while Armagh would lose Tiernan McCann to a second yellow on 61 minutes, they then struck for their second goal through Magee with a subsequent free from keeper Simon Doherty moving them four points clear.
However following an Eoin McGuinness point, O’Kelly then struck for his second in the first minute of injury time to draw Sligo level, before Kieran Prior landed the winning score with a minute of injury time left.
Sligo: M Burke; J Weir, N Feehily, K O’Kennedy; K Banks, L Reidy, R McHugh; R Cox (0-1), Joe Starr (0-1); G O’Kelly Lynch(2-1), C Griffin (0-1), K Gilmartin; T O’Kelly Lynch, K Raymond (0-8, seven frees, on 65), G Cadden. Subs: S Crowley (0-1) for T O’Kelly Lynch (ht), M Gordon for K O’Kennedy(44 min), K Prior (0-1) for G Cadden (57).
Armagh: S Doherty (0-1, free); C Rice, O McCann, P Quinn (0-1); T Nevin, D Bridges, C Clifford; S Toal, S Renaghan; D Gaffney (0-6, all frees), O Curry, P McGrane; D McKenna (0-1), D Magee (2-0), E McGuinness (0-2). Subs: Nathan Curry (0-2) for Odhran McCann (20), Joe O’Connor for Shaun Toal (55).
Referee: James Connors (Donegal).