Armagh salvage draw with Cork to maintain unbeaten League run

Oisin Conaty fires over levelling score as Orchardmen look to Division Two final against Donegal

The electric pace of Oisin Conaty helped cut Meath open on Saturday night. Picture by John Merry
Oisin Conaty's equalising score gave Armagh a draw against Cork on Saturday night
Allianz Football League Division Two: Cork 2-16 Armagh 2-16

Armagh maintained their unbeaten league run ahead of next week’s Division Two final with Donegal as they salvaged a share of the spoils against Cork with two late points from Aidan Nugent and Oisin Conaty.

Two second half goals from the Rebels had them ahead by two points late in the game before Nugent narrowed the gap and following a great fetch by Oisin O’Neill on the resulting kickout, young Conaty fired over the equalising score.

It was a night of mixed fortunes for the travelling side, who didn’t hit a wide until the 45th minute but two lapses in concentration at the back saw them cough of their first two goals of the campaign.

In an entertaining and score-for-score encounter, a draw was probably the fairest result on the night with both forward lines displaying real firepower. Rory Grugan, Conor Turbitt and Conaty hit a combined total of 1-12 while Cork had ten different scorers on the night.

Cork opened the scoring with the first attack as Paul Walsh converted a mark, but it was matched by a Grugan free at the other end before two Colm O’Callaghan points handed the hosts the lead.

Conor Turbitt lived up to his nickname of ‘Turbo’, as he sped past a defender for his first while his second and third scores of the evening followed a huge kick from Cork defender Maurice Shanley.

Brian Hurley traded scores with Oisin Conaty before Armagh raised the first green flag of the game. Grugan found Joe McElroy with an eye-of-the-needle pass and although McElroy’s shot was saved, Peter McGrane on was hand to punch the ball home.

Grugan and Hurley exchanged frees while Chris Og Jones and Conaty also cancelled each other out. Matty Taylor and Jones traded points with Grugan and Ben Crealey and that brought the scoring to an end for the first half, with the Orchard County ahead 1-9 to 0-9.

Hurley and Conaty matched each other at the start of the second half while Jarly Og Burns traded scores with Brian O’Driscoll before a mishit back pass from Paddy Burns handed Cork possession and they levelled things up when Jones blasted the ball to the net.

Hurley and Turbitt raised white flags at either end before Cork midfielder Ian Maguire nudged the Rebels in front. Turbitt tied things up but another mix up at the back gifted Cork a second goal, this time netted by Luke Fahy.

Jones and Crealey (mark) cancelled each other out but Cork kept ahead as O’Callaghan knocked over his third. The impressive Grugan smashed home a goal from a tight angle to narrow the gap to the minimum and keep Armagh in contention.

Corbett stretched Cork’s lead but two late scores from Nugent and Conaty earned Armagh a draw and kept their unbeaten run intact.

Cork: M Martin; M Shanley (0-1), D O’Mahony, T Walsh; L Fahy (1-0), S Meehan, M Taylor (0-1); I Maguire (0-1), Colm O’Callaghan (0-3), P Walsh (0-1 mark), S Power, B O’Driscoll (0-1); C Og Jones (1-3), C Corbett (0-1) Brian Hurley (0-4, 0-1 frees) Subs: K O’Hanlon for P Walsh, S Sherlock for B Hurley, E McSweeney for K O’Hanlon, M Cronan for S. Poster, K Flahive for T. Walsh.

Armagh: B Hughes; P Burns, A McKay, P McGrane (1-0); G McCabe, J Duffy, J McElroy; C Mackin, B Crealey (0-2, 0-1 mark); R O’Neill, R Grugan (1-3, 0-3 frees), B McCambridge; C Turbitt (0-5, 0-2 frees), T Kelly, O Conaty (0-4.) Subs: J Og Burns 0-1 for C. Mackin, A Nugent (0-1) for J Duffy, R McQuillan for J McElroy; S Campbell for R O’Neill.