Donnelly grabs late winner as Armagh pip Down in Ulster Intermediate Championship semi-final

Bernie Murray got a late equalising score for Armagh which set them on their way to victory over Down in the Ulster Intermediate Championship semi-final at Pearse Óg Park Picture: Inpho

Ulster Intermediate championship quarter-final: Armagh 0-11 Down 1-7

A LATE point from Ciara Donnelly made the difference in this well-fought Ulster intermediate quarter-final at Pearse Óg Park in Armagh.

Armagh looked to be the better team in the early stages, but Down came back strongly and were leading with less than 10 minutes to go.

Bernie Murray then levelled the game at 0-10 to 1-7 and from the puck-out, Ciara Donnelly picked up possession to score the winner. Down had opportunities to level again in the final minutes, but twice they were wide of the mark from frees and it is Armagh who go through to this weekend’s semi-final meeting with Cavan.

After Leanne Donnelly opened the scoring in the third minute, Armagh enjoyed the majority of the play but failed to make that count on the scoreboard with some of the credit going to the likes of Aoife Savage and Erin Rafferty in the Mourne defence.

Down came back strongly during the second quarter with Anna Rogan and Aoife McDowell prominent in attack, but it was still the home side that led at the break, 0-5 to 0-3.

Early in the second half a point from Anna Rogan and a goal from Katie McGilligan gave Down the lead for the first time. From then until the end it was nip and tuck with Down holding on to a narrow advantage as points from Rachel Merry, Orlagh Murray and Ciara Hill kept it tight for Armagh to snatch victory at the end.

The other quarter-final failed to materialise with Tyrone pulling out on Saturday morning. It means that this Saturday Armagh will play Cavan in one semi-final while Derry and Antrim are lined up in the other.

Armagh: C Devlin; A Harvey, N Woods, E Lavery; A McMahon, G McWilliams, G McCann; S McArdle, O Curry; L Donnelly (0-1), B Murray (0-2), C Hill (0-1), R Merry (0-3), C McSorley, C Donnelly (0-3).

Subs: O Murray (0-1)

Down: M McNally; E Rafferty, J Rush, G Cunningham; A Savage, D Coleman, O Boyle; B Savage (0-1), C Cowan; K McGilligan (1-0), A Murphy, C Coleman (0-1); A Rogan (0-3), G McGrattan, A McDowell (0-1)

Subs: L Clarke 0-1 for C Cowan, N McCabe for A Murphy, N Rodgers for G McGrattan

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