Presseye/William Cherry/INPHO The two teams clash before the game.
hard slog
Mass brawl as Armagh beat Cavan in the Ulster SFC quarter-final
Cavan had just two points in nearly 40 minutes of play.

Armagh 1-12

Cavan 0-9

FOR A LOT of the first half it seemed as if both sides were struggling to recover from the pre-match brawl that marked the start of this Ulster Senior Football quarter-final in the Atheltic Grounds.

The incident happened during the parade and involved over a dozen players. Cavan’s Martin Dunne – who scored nine points in last year’s game between the two – was unable to start the game as a result of the brawl.

With Killian Brady coming into the side in his place, the Breffni were forced to making a number of positional changes from the team named by Terry Hyland but, when the game finally got under way, it was the visitors who made the better start with Eugene Keating pointing two frees in as many minutes.

However, they would fail to score again for the last 27 minutes of the opening period.

For their part, it would take Armagh nine minutes to get on the scoreboard when Jamie Clarke was the first to react after Stefan Campbell’s free hit the post and fell into his hands.

However, while the home side were dominating midfield, they found it difficult to take advantage and hit no less than five wides in the opening 15 minutes before two frees from Eugene McVerry gave them their first lead of the day.

Two more Clarke frees ensured Armagh went into the break with a three point lead; 0-5 to 0-2.

The home side flew out of the traps in the second half with Mark Shields scoring after just 17 seconds and Ethan Rafferty pointing his first score of the game to extend their lead to five on 42 minutes.

Cavan had a great chance to get back into the game seconds later but Keating’s effort was cleared off the line.

After Aaron Kernan fisted Armagh into a six point lead, Cavan scored for the first time since the eighth minute through David Givney and a further point from the Mountnugent man as well as scores from Gearoid McKiernan and Fergal Flanagan reduced the deficit to three on 51 minutes.

However, all that good work was undone when Caolan Rafferty fired the ball into the roof of Conor Gilsenan’s net to make it 1-9 to 0-6 just a minute later.

With time running out, Cavan traded points with their hosts but couldn’t find the goal they needed as Rafferty was shown the line at the end.

Victory means Paul Grimley’s men will advance to the Ulster semi-finals where they’ll face the winners of Tyrone and Monaghan.

Scorers for Armagh: Jamie Clarke 0-4 (0-2f), Caolan Rafferty 1-0, Aaron Kernan 0-3 (0-2f), Eugene McVerry 0-2 (0-2f), Ethan Rafferty 0-2, Mark Shields 0-1.
Scorers for Cavan: Eugene Keating 0-2 (0-2f), Gearoid McKiernan 0-2 (0-1f) David Givney 0-2, Fergal Flanagan , Cian Mackey  and Mark McKeever 0-1 each.

1. Philip McEvoy – Dromintee
2. Andy Mallon – Parnells Dublin
3. Charlie Vernon – Armagh Harps
4. James Morgan – Crossmaglen Rangers
5. Mark Shields – Whitecross
6. Brendan Donaghy – Clonmore
7. Ciaran McKeever – Cullyhanna
8. Kieran Toner – Granemore
9. Aaron Findon – St Peter’s
10. Eugene McVerry – Mullaghbawn
11. Kevin Dyas – Dromintee
12. Caolan Rafferty – Granemore
13. Jamie Clarke – Crossmaglen Rangers (Captain)
14. Ethan Rafferty – Grange
15. Stefan Campbell – Clann na nGael

1. Conor Gilsenan – Bailieborough
2. Jason McLoughlin – Shannon Gaels
3. Rory Dunne – Redhills
4. Feargal Flanagan – Butlersbridge
5. James McEnroe – Ramor United
6. Alan Clarke – Kingscourt (Captain)
7. Damien O’Reilly – Belturbet
8. Gearoid McKiernan – Swanlinbar
9. Killian Brady - Mullahoran
10. Dara McVeety – Crosserlough
11. Niall McDermott – Ballinagh
12. Martin Reilly – Killygary
13. Eugene Keating – Saint Sylvesters
14. David Givney – Mountnugent
15. Jack Brady – Ramor United

Referee: Marty Duffy (Sligo).

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