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Armagh lose to Cavan in bad-tempered McKenna Cup opener

Armagh manager Kieran McGeeney. Photo: John Merry

Armagh lost their opening game of the season to Cavan in the McKenna Cup in Crossmaglen.

The hosts had Aaron Findon and Brendan Donaghy sent off in the second half while the Breffni men lost David Givney and Joshua Hayes to straight reds in the first half, while Killian Brady received his marching orders in the closing stages.

Armagh’s 16 wides contributed to their defeat, coupled with two first half goals from the visitors, which gave them a 2-6 to 0-3 lead at the break.

Kieran McGeeney’s men were much improved after the interval with Gavin McParland, Stefan Campbell and Ethan Rafferty all on target.

However, Cavan held on, closing out the game with all 12 men behind the ball.

Armagh lost Charlie Vernon to a black card and that incident sparked some ugly scenes, which saw two Armagh players banished.

Sunday’s game was the first of three meetings between the teams this season, with a league contest to be followed by an Ulster championship tie in May.

Elsewhere in the group, University of Ulster caused a shock by beating Ulster Champions Monaghan 2-16 to 1-9.

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