Quarter-Final exit for Roscommon

July 5th, 2024

All-Ireland SFC Quarter-Final

Armagh 2-12 Roscommon 0-12

By Paul Keane at Croke Park

Content credit; www.GAA.ie

They’ve waited a long time for this one in Armagh, almost 20 years to be exact.

The Orchard County have finally won an All-Ireland quarter-final after six failed attempts, a tale of woe that stretched back to 2005, but which has finally been put right.

Where Armagh go from here will make for thrilling viewing with ambitious boss Kieran McGeeney desperate to experience an All-Ireland success, just as he did in 2002 as a talisman centre-back.

Barry McCambridge and Conor Tubritt took on the responsibility for Armagh this time with crucial Croke Park goals and both players finished with 1-2.

McCambridge’s 20th minute goal put significant daylight between the teams for the first time and it was Turbitt’s major for Armagh in the 52nd minute that really turned the screw, doubling their advantage from three to six at that stage.

By that stage, Roscommon were down to 14 players having lost Ruaidhri Fallon to a second yellow card just before half-time. A side like Armagh was always likely to take full advantage and they duly did, bringing on Stefan Campbell to rich effect.

Campbell finished with two points and set up scores for captain Aidan Forker and Turbitt while Oisin Conaty came into the game strongly in the second-half with four points to see off the battling Rossies.

Armagh came in as Group 1 table toppers and showed why they were pre-match favourites by leading from pillar to post, save for a brief period early in the third quarter when Roscommon tied it up.

Turbitt lived up to his nickname by giving the Division 2 league finalists a turbo start with a point inside 10 seconds.

But Armagh didn’t score again until the 16th minute in what was initially a cagey affair.

Armagh, replacing Ciaran Higgins with Paddy Burns from their previous game against Galway, were content to sit deep and punish Roscommon on the break.

McCambridge was the principal beneficiary with 1-1 from the Clann Eireann man in the opening half as he raided forward and added to the attack.

He played a neat one-two with Rory Grugan for Armagh’s 20th minute goal and while it owed everything to his drive and determination to come bursting through the middle, Roscommon will be disappointed that they didn’t meet him with a stiff challenge at any stage.

Through on goal, McCambrige unleashed a rocket that flew in off the underside of the crossbar, leaving the Orchard 1-2 to 0-1 clear.

Armagh’s next score, nine minutes later, came from McCambridge as well following a turnover in the Roscommon attack – Fallon misplaced a Roscommon kick-pass – and burst upfield which ended with a well taken point.

At the half-hour mark, having scored just a point, Roscommon looked in real bother, but finished the half strongly, pinching three points in a row from leading scorer Conor Cox, two, and Higgins to leave Armagh just 1-3 to 0-4 up at half-time.

Roscommon’s loss of Fallon was a huge blow though, the St Brigid’s man picking up his second yellow card for a meaty hit on Grugan just as he had collected a pass from Ronan Daly.

The Rossies also lost David Murray and Ultan Harney to first-half injuries so realised it was going to take something special with a patched up 14-man team to pull off a rare win in Championship football at Croke Park.

They got it back to level terms after two points from Eoin McCormack and Dylan Ruane immediately after the restart but soon fell into Armagh’s slipstream – and this time stayed there.

Campbell made a big impact when introduced, firstly kicking back to back points and later setting up captain Aidan Forker and free-taker Turbitt for points.

The game’s key score was Armagh’s second goal because after that 52nd minute strike, the Ulster side remained at least four points clear all the way until full-time with Conaty nailing two late scores for the men in orange.

Scorers for Armagh: Barry McCambridge 1-2 (1m), Conor Turbitt 1-2 (1f), Oisin Conaty 0-4, Stefan Campbell 0-2, Niall Grimley 0-1, Aidan Forker 0-1.

Scorers for Roscommon: Conor Cox 0-5 (4fs), Dylan Ruane 0-2, Niall Higgins 0-1, Eoin McCormack 0-1, Adam McDermott 0-1, Brian Stack 0-1, Diarmuid Murtagh 0-1.

Armagh: Blaine Hughes; Peter McGrane, Aaron McKay, Paddy Burns; Barry McCambridge, Tiernan Kelly, Aidan Forker; Niall Grimley, Ben Crealey; Oisin Conaty, Rian O’Neill, Joe McElroy; Rory Grugan, Andrew Murnin, Conor Turbitt.

Subs: Stefan Campbell for McGrane h/t, Oisin O’Neill for Rian O’Neill 50, Ross McQuillan for Forker 50-58 blood, Aidan Nugent for Grugan 55, Connaire Mackin for Crealey 64, Jason Duffy for Forker 70.

Roscommon: Conor Carroll; Niall Higgins, Ruaidhri Fallon, David Murray; Eoin McCormack, Brian Stack, Robbie Dolan; Enda Smith, Shane Cunnane; Ronan Daly, Diarmuid Murtagh, Daire Cregg; Ultan Harney, Conor Cox, Donie Smith.

Subs: Dylan Ruane for Murray 7, Ciaran Lennon for Harney 15, Adam McDermott for Donie Smith 55, Cathal Heneghan for Daly 61, Andrew Glennon for Cunnane 67.

Referee: Martin McNally (Monaghan).

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