More than 10,000 fans left the Athletic Grounds on Saturday breathing a sigh of relief as Armagh pulled off the narrowest of victories as an important two points looked like evading them all afternoon.
Visitors Westmeath – the fourth seed in the group – were so close to recording a shock victory in the opening round of this All-Ireland series group. Defeat would have left Kieran McGeeney’s men with a mountain to climb given games against Tyrone and Galway on the horizon.
Last year’s Tailteann Cup winners were good value for their lead at the break and were a goal to the good with 10 minutes remaining, however, Conor Turbitt, who has often been Armagh’s go-to man this year got the vital goal with two minutes of normal time left on the clock.
The drama, which Armagh seem to specialise in, was not done there as John Heslin levelled the tie deep into stoppage time. Armagh’s Ciaran Mackin and Andrew Murnin both scored in that period to give Armagh the one-point victory. It’s easy to see why Armagh is the best supported team in the country, with days like these.
Next up is Tyrone in Healy Park this Saturday evening (June 5).
Final Score: Armagh 1-13 Westmeath 1-12. Check out out gallery below. Photos by Vincent Loughran.
ARMAGH: Ethan Rafferty, James Morgan, Aaron McKay, Aidan Forker, Greg McCabe, Conor O’Neill, Jarly Og Burns, Ben Crealy, Ciaran Mackin (0-01), Rory Grugan (0-03. 0-2 frees), Jason Duffy, Stefan Campbell (0-02) Andrew Murnin (0-03), Rian O’Neill (0-04, 0-3 frees), Aidan Nugent.