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Allianz FL D1: Gritty Galway defeat Armagh
Allianz Football League Division One
Galway 1-8 Armagh 1-6
By Steve Malone at BOX-IT Athletic Grounds
A tight Allianz Football League game seemed to be edging towards a stalemate when Matthew Tierney fisted home the winning goal in the 69th minute.
The result puts Galway in with a chance of reaching the decider with All-Ireland champions Kerry coming to the Pearse Stadium next, while Armagh are in trouble as they make the trip to rivals Tyrone with relegation a real possibility.
Armagh held Galway to three points in the first half while Galway restricted Armagh to only two minutes during the second period in a game that was cagey in most parts.
Stefan Campbell, Crossmaglens Callum Cumiskey and Rian ONeill and Ciaran Mackin picked off fine first half points but it was goalkeeper Ethan Rafferty that grabbed Armaghs goal on 21 minutes.
That gave Armagh a 1-2 to no 0-0 lead, but two points in as many minutes from Johnny Heaney and Cathal Sweeney put Galway back into the contest. Shane Walsh pointed from a free as Armagh led 1-04 to 0-03 at the break.
Galway hit 1-05 before Armagh scored only their second point of the half. Rory Grugan opened the half with a point and they should have added to their tally, but for some poor shooting and the Tribesmen improved significantly.
Paul Conroy, Matthew Tierney, Shane Walsh and Johnny Heaney impressed as the Tribesmen cut into Armaghs lead. The game opened up as it progressed but as Heaney, Conroy and marks from the excellent Tomo Culhane had the sides level with time almost up.
Then came Tierneys smash and grab winning goal. Armagh came close to equalising deep in additional time, but Galway 'keeper Conor Gleeson did well to deny Jarly Og Burns.
Galway are making strides, while Armagh have work to do.
Scorers for Galway: Matthew Tierney 1-0, Johnny Heaney, Tomo Culhane 2ms, and Shane Walsh 2fs 0-2 each, Paul Conroy and Cathal Sweeney 0-1 each.
Scorers for Armagh: Ethan Rafferty 1-0, Ciaran Mackin, Stefan Campbell, Callum Cumiskey, Rian O'Neill, Aidan Nugent, and Rory Grugan f 0-1 each.
Galway: Conor Gleeson, John McGrath, Sean Kelly, Sean Fitzgerald, Dylan McHugh, John Daly, Cian Hernon, Paul Conroy, Paul Kelly, Matthew Tierney, Johnny Heaney, John Maher, Patrick Kelly, Shane Walsh, Cathal Sweeney.
Subs: Robert Finnerty for Kelly HT, Tomo Culhane for P Kelly 43,Daniel OFlaherty for Maher 68, Billy Mannion for Hernon 70, Ryan Monaghan for J Daly 76.
Armagh: Ethan Rafferty; Barry McCambridge, Aaron McKay, Aidan Forker, Ciaran Mackin, Greg McCabe, Jarly Og Burns, Stefan Campbell, Tiernan Kelly, Callum Cumiskey, Rory Grugan, Joe McElroy, Rian ONeill, Andrew Murnin, Jason Duffy.
Subs: Jemar Hall for Cumiskey 29, Stephen Sheridan for Kelly ht, Conor Turbitt for McCabe 48, Ross McQuillan for McKay 51, Niall Grimley for Sheridan 58, Aidan Nugent for ONeill 65.
Referee: David Gough Meath.