John McVitty/INPHO Monaghan's Conor McManus celebrates their win with manager Seamus McEnaney.
Monaghan get the better of Armagh in an Ulster classic
Monaghan were inspired by Jack McCarron and Conor McManus as they saw off Armagh on a 4-17 to 2-21 scoreline.

Monaghan 4-17

Armagh 2-21

Declan Bogue reports from the Athletic Grounds

THE ULSTER CHAMPIONSHIP is doing it’s best to show that, maybe – just maybe – there might be merit in persisting with this Provincial system for another, oooohhhhhh, hundred years yet.

Monaghan beat Armagh on a scalding hot day that demanded so, so much from players, but both teams reaching previously unscaled heights. If you can say that a contest paid tribute to a tragedy without it seeming mawkish, then the spirit of Brendan Óg Duffy, the Monaghan under-20 captain killed on Friday night as he returned after beating Donegal in the Ulster semi-final, was rewarded with this.

Two teams full of honest endeavour and packed with outrageous skills and playing as hard as they could. Sport will go on and has to go on because of what this Monaghan team gave to their people.

Four first half goals had them in the driving seat – the imperious Jack McCarron having a hand in all four. But after going into the final quarter seven points up, they instantly conceded a goal to substitute Conor Turbitt, and another followed through Tiernan Kelly. Somehow, Armagh were two points up with six minutes left.

It took Conor McManus to convert three consecutive frees – and he had been fouled for them all, to pull them out of the fire and back into another decider.

Breathless. Brilliant. Awesome. This was sport at it’s finest as Monaghan’s management team and assorted county board members clinched each other hard at the final whistle.

Scorers for Armagh: R O’Neill (0-6, 3frees), C Turbitt (1-1), O O’Neill (0-3), R Grugan (0-3, 1free), T Kelly (1-0), C O’Hanlon, G McCabe, N Grimley, J Óg Burns, A Murnin, S Campbell, C O’Neill, R McQuillan (0-1 each)

Scorers for Monaghan: C McManus (1-6, 0-3 frees, 0-1 mark), J McCarron, M Bannigan (1-1 each), D Hughes (1-0), R Beggan (0-2 frees), D Ward, S O’Hanlon (0-2 each), C McCarthy, S Carey (0-1 each)


1.    Shea Magill (Killeavy)

2.    James Morgan (Crossmaglen)

3.    Aaron McKay (Dromintee)
22.Ryan Kennedy (Ballymacnab)

5.    Ciaran O’Hanlon (Killeavy)

6.    Greg McCabe (Shane O’Neills)

7.    Connaire Mackin (Shane O’Neills)

8.    Niall Grimley (Madden)

9.    Oisin O’Neill (Crossmaglen)

10.  Jemar Hall (Forkhill)

11.   Rian O’Neill (Crossmaglen)

12.  Jarly Óg Burns (Silverbridge)

13.  Rory Grugan (Ballymacnab)

14.  Andrew Murnin (St Paul’s)

15.  Stefan Campbell (Clann na Gael)

Subs: A Forker for McKay (29 mins), C O’Neill for O’Hanlon, C Turbitt  for Grimley (both half-time), T Kelly for Hall (50 mins), R McQuillan for Mackin (52 mins)


1.    Rory Beggan (Scotstown)

2.    Kieran Duffy (Latton)

3.    Conor Boyle (Clontibret)

4.    Ryan Wylie (Ballybay)

5.    Karl O’Connell (Tyholland)

6.    Killian Lavelle (Clontibret)

7.    Ryan McAnespie (Emyvale)

8.    Darren Hughes (Scotstown)

9.    Niall Kearns (Sean McDermotts)

10.   Michael Bannigan (Annamullen)

11.   Aaron Mulligan (Latton)

12.  Dessie Ward (Ballybay)

13.  Conor McCarthy (Scotstown)

14.  Jack McCarron (Currin)

15.  Conor McManus (Clontibret)

Subs: S O’Hanlon for McCarthy (35 mins), S Carey for Mulligan (42 mins), C Walshe for O’Connell (47 mins), K Hughes for Lavelle (47 mins), A Woods for Kearns (60 mins), F Kelly for D Hughes (Head inj, 73 mins)

Referee: David Coldrick (Meath)

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