Live All-Ireland qualifier: Armagh 3-17 Donegal 0-16 (FT)

Armagh have put in a clinical display to blast their way past their Ulster rivals! Donegal responded well to an early goal in the first minute by pressuring the kick-out but a pointless period of 21 minutes came back to haunt them heading into the break.

They never recovered from there, allowing Armagh too long on the ball and their forwards led by Steffan Campbell and Rian O’Neill picked off score after score to work their way to an easy win. Thanks for tuning in to our blog, stay tuned for the report!

FULL-TIME: Armagh 3-17 Donegal 0-16

Armagh are into the quarter-final draw! A blistering second half performance sees them blow past Donegal who sat off them for far too long when the deficit was around the five point mark. In the end, that was as good as it got for them as Campbell and O’Neill et al kicked score after score, taking advantage of long periods on the ball to open up space and pick off their opponents at will. Convincing enough in the end and they advance to tomorrow’s draw!

74 mins: O’Donnell kicks a long range effort and barely reacts at all. Pure disgust at the scoreline even with that consolation.

Armagh 3-17 Donegal 0-16

72 mins: Turbitt adds his second point of the day after a long ball over the top drops down right on him yards out from goal. Quick finish with his back to goal.

Armagh 3-17 Donegal 0-15

Donegal’s misery will be extended by four minutes of added time.

69 mins: A big fist-bump to the air from Burns as his effort finds its way over the bar. Armagh are in party mode now with every score.

Armagh 3-16 Donegal 0-15

68 mins: O’Donnell sticks one over the bar from 20 yards out after a long ball in rebounds off a few bodies out to him. Good sharp reflexes to drop the ball onto the boot as quickly as he did. He adds another consolation moments later.

Armagh 3-15 Donegal 0-15

67 mins: Rafferty puts a foot wrong for the first time in this half. His travel high up the park means he has to scamper back to his goal as Donegal look to get on with it.

Armagh 3-15 Donegal 0-13

65 mins: Langan now comes up with the ball for Donegal. He curls it with his left but it’s short as an Armagh hand bats it away from goal. Forward it comes as Donegal recycle, only for an interception to end that attack.

Armagh 3-15 Donegal 0-13

64 mins: Campbell stops in possession in midfield, sees no one ahead of him in space, so decides nonchalantly to pop the ball over from 40m out. Ridiculous stuff, he has been immense today.

Armagh 3-15 Donegal 0-13

62 mins: Donegal have to throw everything at this now. A scuffle for the ball close to the Armagh goal could have sent it anywhere but it ends up rolling out for a wide.

Armagh 3-14 Donegal 0-13

61 mins: Turbitt is on for Armagh but his first involvement is to curl a left-footer beautifully over the bar.

Armagh 3-14 Donegal 0-13

60 mins: Donegal pull one back with a free from Murphy. Too little too late you feel.

Armagh 3-13 Donegal 0-13

58 mins: Stephen Sheridan has surely scored the goal that puts Armagh into the quarters! It’s an innocuous move up to him but one simple ball over the top sees him in on goal, and his deft step onto the right beats the ‘keeper and leaves an open goal.

Armagh 3-13 Donegal 0-12

55 mins: McHugh is on a one-man mission to play out from Donegal’s half and the move he starts ends up with a mishit ball which Murphy competes for close to goal, but there’s contact on him that isn’t enough to warrant a foul.

Armagh 2-13 Donegal 0-12

53 mins: Once score followed by the other as McGee launches another ball over the ball. That’s two on the bounce which is what Donegal badly need.

Armagh 2-13 Donegal 0-12

52 mins: Michael Murphy has just won a ridiculous mark under some pressure in the air. The mark is moved further up the park just to make it even easier to pop over.

Armagh 2-13 Donegal 0-11

51 mins: Langan is booked for a foul as O’Neill adds to the lead. That’s four points since the break for Armagh, Donegal haven’t raised a flag since half-time. O’Neill adds a quickfire second point as Armagh win the kick-out.

Armagh 2-13 Donegal 0-10

50 mins: Rafferty claims an underhit ball before staying strong to win the free-out. Barring his kick-outs in the first 20 minutes, he has been exceptional today.

Armagh 2-11 Donegal 0-10

49 mins: McBrearty beats three men with ease but has to lay the ball off. He makes the wrong call, sending it to an under pressure McHugh who coughs up possession. Down the other end, Nugent is in on goal but his attempted ball back across is intercepted.

Armagh 2-11 Donegal 0-10

48 mins: Gallagher gets a rare pocket of space, leaving two defenders trailing him. He lets fly with the right but shanks it well wide. Bad miss.

Armagh 2-11 Donegal 0-10

47 mins: Nearly two minutes in possession ends in Campbell turning on the jets to take the ball on the outside run, curling the ball in from deep on the right hand side. Score of the day.

Armagh 2-11 Donegal 0-10

45 mins: Too easy for Armagh to hang onto the ball at the moment. Rafferty is running from sideline to sideline at this stage without being challenged!

Armagh 2-10 Donegal 0-10

43 mins: Let-off for Donegal as McCabe makes a mess of the pass with plenty of space in front. Down the other end, McHugh turns down a good shooting opportunity, instead dropping it off to Thompson whose effort falls well short.

Armagh 2-10 Donegal 0-10

42 mins: Murphy sees yellow for going through McKay after a mark was called. Donegal’s frustration starting to show here.

Armagh 2-10 Donegal 0-10

41 mins: Now Donegal hold onto it for a while before McGee launches an ambitious effort. It’s high and short as Rafferty comes to claim. He can’t hang on but he was fouled in the air.

Armagh 2-10 Donegal 0-10

40 mins: O’Neill is loving life at the minute. Deep he drops to gather before racing past three men into space and it’s too easy from there.

Armagh 2-10 Donegal 0-10

39 mins: Armagh are happy to spend long periods on the ball here with Rafferty well up the pitch. Donegal can’t let them play with the ball for this long given the deficit.

Armagh 2-09 Donegal 0-10

37 mins: Burns’ effort comes down with snow on it after cutting in onto the right, but it has the legs to get over. Lovely strike after being set up by the free roaming Rafferty. Meanwhile Patton and McBrearty have come back on for Donegal.

Armagh 2-09 Donegal 0-10

36 mins: Right then, here come the players as the second half is set to get underway. 35 minutes to decide who gets to an All-Ireland quarter-final. Scrappy stuff at the throw-in and Armagh win the free.

Armagh 2-08 Donegal 0-10

Half-time then in Clones! Armagh started like a house on fire with that early goal only for Donegal to respond and take things over with their pressure on Rafferty’s kick-outs. Once Armagh started going long again, their forwards dominated, particularly Campbell and O’Neill with their running lines from deep. That Murphy score from the break was their first in 21 minutes and with Patton off after his black card they have been on the ropes!

40 mins: Campbell tries to curl one off the right this time but doesn’t get the connection. That’s half-time!

Armagh 2-08 Donegal 0-10

37 mins: McGee goes down for Donegal and wins the free. Unsurprisingly, with the way things are going he’s taking his time to kill the clock with some treatment. Murphy eventually takes on the free and gets a much-needed score.

Armagh 2-08 Donegal 0-10

36 mins: Donegal need the break, badly. They’re rattled as a low percentage chance from Langan sails wide.

Armagh 2-08 Donegal 0-09

Four minutes of added time

35 mins: Too good from Grugan. Runs down the outside, turns back onto the left and then placing it over the bar.

Armagh 2-08 Donegal 0-09

32 mins: Duffy does well to find space in behind when there was none, getting onto the ball before spinning and fisting it over the bar.

Armagh 2-07 Donegal 0-09

31 mins: Murphy lets fly from a free from 50m out but it’s wide. McBrearty was the one to make way for Lynch, it’s just been announced.

Armagh 2-06 Donegal 0-09

30 mins: McGonagle goes the right way but O’Neill strikes it too well into the left corner! Armagh have levelled things up and they have been the better side in the past 10 minutes. 1-04 without reply in the last eight minutes. Michael Lynch has now come on in goal with Donegal down to 14.

Armagh 2-06 Donegal 0-09

29 mins: Black card for Patton! The ball is in the net after Nugent is smashed back by the Donegal ‘keeper but the ref had already blown his whistle for the penalty. The goal should have scored but it is a penalty for Armagh with Patton gone for 10. McGonagle will go in goal for the penalty…

Armagh 1-06 Donegal 0-09

27 mins: Armagh look to have made a mess of it with the Donegal defence swarming but Nugent links up well with Burns for the score. SAVE! Armagh should have a goal seconds later but Campbell misses with the ‘keeper off his line, Ward making the block on the line but it was straight at him. The one consolation from Armagh is that O’Neill has added the 45.

Armagh 1-06 Donegal 0-09

Armagh 1-03 Donegal 0-09

26 mins: Rafferty is good to continue and the game restarts with O’Neill slotting the easy free.

Armagh 1-04 Donegal 0-09

24 mins: OUCH! Rafferty is well out of his goal, as is his want, and he launches a long-range effort. McGonagle tries to block and leaves plenty on the ‘keeper meaning there will be a free from where it lands further up the park. McGonagle sees yellow as Rafferty gets some treatment.

23 mins: Armagh get more joy this time off the long kick-out. They beat Donegal’s high press up the park as O’Neill works his way through to launch it over the black dot.

Armagh 1-03 Donegal 0-09

22 mins: Thompson tries again, this time from a central position on the 45 but he’s pushed it out to the left.

Armagh 1-02 Donegal 0-09

20 mins: That’s a bad miss from Campbell. O’Neill had dropped well deep to pick his man out and open up the space for the shot, but he gets underneath his effort to send it well out to the right. Ciarán Thompson shows him how it’s done down the other end, curling in a left-footer from a tricky angle.

Armagh 1-02 Donegal 0-09

18 mins: Shane O’Donnell launches a long effort with no options ahead of him. It’s high and long and bang on the money as he adds to the Donegal lead.

Armagh 1-02 Donegal 0-08

17 mins: Contact on McCole sends the Donegal defender flying to the ground, opening the hole for O’Neill to fly through and send over the bar. Donegal aren’t happy but the score stands.

Armagh 1-02 Donegal 0-07

16 mins: Campbell skips past his man brilliantly but his ball off to O’Neill needed to be a soft one. He can’t cling on to an unsympathetic pass and down the other end O’Donnell makes Armagh pay.

Armagh 1-01 Donegal 0-07

15 mins: Nugent is forced to do it all himself with no runners calling for it in the middle. He does well even to get a shot off from the left but it is nowhere close.

Armagh 1-01 Donegal 0-06

14 mins: Donegal’s defence has settled well after that early goal. McGonagle stays strong after a long ball in to win possession and win the free-out.

Armagh 1-01 Donegal 0-06

13 mins: Down the other end, Rafferty has leapt into the air to pluck the ball out of the sky and stop it from going over his bar.

Armagh 1-01 Donegal 0-06

12 mins: Better from Armagh. Campbell links up well with his cut back inside and he wins a free after a McFadden shirt pull. Grugan sticks the free over to end the run of six straight Donegal scores.

Armagh 1-01 Donegal 0-06

10 mins: All a bit easy for Donegal at the moment. Murphy leans in on his marker Forker to buy a soft decision after McHugh sent the ball into him. Murphy taps over the easy free.

Armagh 1-00 Donegal 0-06

Armagh 1-00 Donegal 0-04

9 mins: Donegal continue to pressure the Rafferty kick-out and they win another free. It’s too far out for a chance but McBrearty beats is man in open play before slotting a beauty with his left.

Armagh 1-00 Donegal 0-05

7 mins: Patton’s kick-out is worked well and Donegal win the free high up the pitch. Too easy for Murphy from that range. Donegal’s main man adds another score almost immediately after and all of a sudden Armagh are behind after their early goal.

5 mins: Patton can’t hold onto the greasy ball after pressure from O’Neill. 45 for Armagh. Rian O’Neill catches it well but sends it wide to the left.

Armagh 1-00 Donegal 0-02

4 mins: McHugh slots a beautiful score off the outside of the right boot. His second of the day and Donegal have definitely settled the better after that early goal.

Armagh 1-00 Donegal 0-02

3 mins: Steffan Campbell takes on his man but can’t get past him as Donegal defenders swarm and earn the free-out. Hearing that the Grugan goal is the second fastest in championship history!

Armagh 1-0 Donegal 0-01

2 mins: It’s all happening here. McHugh is in on goal after linking up with Murphy for Donegal but Rafferty is able to palm his effort over the bar. Donegal are on the board!

Armagh 1-00 Donegal 0-01

1 min: Anthems are done and it’s time to go! Up the ball goes and ARMAGH HAVE SCORED INSTANTLY! O’Neill wins the free at the throw-in and quickly launches the ball up towards the Donegal end. Rory Grugan gets on the end of it, slips his man back inside and buries it into the top corner. Up the green flag goes!

Armagh 1-0 Donegal 0-0

Another late line-up change! Connaire Mackin has failed a late fitness test so Conor O’Neill starts after all! Named to start, drops out of the line-up late and then thrown back in at the death! Interesting build-up for the lad.

Want some last-minute pre-match reading? Check out Keith Duggan’s piece on the history between these two sides here.

We’re getting closer to kick-off then. The general sense is that Armagh have more match winners in their side than Donegal today, Michael Murphy aside. Will Donegal’s reliance on their main man come back to haunt them or will he be their talisman? Just under seven minutes until we find out…

Despite what the programme and the Donegal Twitter account says, there are two changes on both sides before throw-in. Armagh:

20 Connaire Mackin for 4 Conor O’Neill

24 Andrew Murnin for 12. Jemar Hall


24 Aaron Doherty for 4 Stephen McMenamin

17 Peadar Morgan for 11 Niall O’Donnell


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