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Armagh hammer Limerick go top of Division Three

Tony Kernan in possession for Armagh. Photo by John Merry

Limerick 1-06 Armagh 2-16

Armagh comfortably saw off the challenge of Limerick to go top of Division Three in Kilmallock today.

A strong second-half performance from Kieran McGeeney’s men was enough to wrap up a 13-point victory and really put a firm grip on their push for promotion.

Playing against the breeze in the first, Armagh started much better, with Tony Kernan converting a free in the third minute following a foul on Aidan Forker.

The visitors then doubled their lead through Finnian Moriarty, who started the game at centre-half back.

Armagh further stretched their lead with a great goal following some superb fielding from Ethan Rafferty, who in turn laid it off to Forker, who dispatched it past the Limerick goalkeeper.

Tony Kernan in possession for Armagh. Photo by John Merry

Tony Kernan in possession for Armagh. Photo by John Merry

Micheal McKenna added a point less than 60 seconds later to leave six in it after just 11 minutes.

The hosts finally managed to weather the early storm and registered their first score of the contest on 19 minutes with a Cillian Fahy point, however, Ethan Rafferty restored the six-point gap almost immediately with a blasted point that could so easily have been a goal.

The game then really stepped up a gear 23 minutes in, when Limerick rattled Niall Geoghegan’s goal. A failed fisted attempt for a point came back off the post and into the path of Thomas Lee who didn’t need a second invitation, slotting past the helpless Geoghegan.

The Treaty county could have had a second goal shortly after only for Forker to clear off the line. A long-high ball in causing confusing in the Armagh backline.

With five minutes of the first-half remaining Danny Neville scored his first free of the game with Aidan Forker replying soon after.

Neville was then at it again with another free from 45 metres out but Armagh went into the break with a three point cushion thanks to a well-worked score from the Grange’s Micheal McKenna.

Armagh started the second-half much stronger and never really took their foot of the pedal, with Limerick only managing three scores in the entire 35 minutes.

Tony Kernan converted a free from 45 yards two minutes after the interval before man-of-the-match McKenna added another for the Orchard county.

Goalkeeper Brian Scanlon responded from distance with a free shortly after but that was to be it for the next 22 minutes for the hosts.

A McKenna point preceded a Mark Shields point and goal before Kernan (twice), substitute Ciaron O’Hanlon and McKenna stretched the lead to 13 points.

Gareth Noonan ended the Limerick drought on 66 minutes before Seanie Buckley reduced the deficit to 11.

But Armagh were not done there as Caolan Rafferty and O’Hanlon scored in extra-time to add gloss to what was a great away performance.

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