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McBrearty hits winner, Murphy misses penalty and Donegal safe from the drop

The home side defeated Armagh in Letterkenny today.

Donegal's Michael Murphy.
Donegal's Michael Murphy.
Image: Evan Logan/INPHO

Donegal 1-14

Armagh 1-13

Declan Bogue reports from Letterkenny

EVEN THOUGHT IT all came to an undignified end, maybe all parties departed Letterkenny with what they had wanted at the start of the day.

For Armagh, they started a weakened team, giving the impression they had no interest whatsoever in making a league final.

Donegal got their day’s work out of it too. A last-gasp winner from Patrick McBrearty it came down to, but they could have been out of sight with twenty minutes to go after Jamie Brennan was upended in the penalty area.

Referee Paddy Neilan pointed to the spot. Ryan McHugh clutched the ball for a time. Eventually Michael Murphy lined up for it and blasted it wide of the right post.

That prompted Armagh to hit three consecutive points and bring the margin back to the minimum. The third point in particular was the sign of a flagging team when Donegal goalkeeper Shaun Patton fluffed a kickout straight to Aidan Nugent, who repaid it by kicking over the bar.

With half time replacements Rian O’Neill and Rory Grugan in imperious form, Armagh were coming like the hounds of hell and even brought up goalkeeper Ethan O’Donnell to have a couple of swings at goal.

In the very last play, Donegal had a free-kick which was taken quickly by Michael Murphy to the unmarked Michael Langan. He carried to Connor O’Donnell who then dished it off to Patrick McBrearty to kick high over the crossbar.

There wasn’t even time to take the kickout and when the whistle was blown, Armagh’s Aidan Forker and Donegal’s Odhran McFadden-Ferry began a skirmish that blew up fairly quickly into a good old all-in wrestling bout.

With Championship four weeks away, they know all about each other now.

Scorers for Donegal: P McBrearty 0-7, 4f, 1m, M Murphy 0-4, 1f, 1×45, J McGee 1-0, J Brennan 0-2, 1m, C Ward 0-1

Scorers for Armagh: A Nugent 1-6, 3f, R O’Neill 0-3, 1×45, A Murnin 0-2, 1m, J Duffy 0-1m, T Kelly 0-1

Donegal

S Patton; C Ward, B McCole, O McFadden-Ferry; R McHugh, EB Gallagher, S McMenamin; J McGee, H McFadden; S O’Donnell, P Mogan, J Brennan; P McBrearty, M Murphy, C O’Donnell

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Subs

N McGee for McCole (40-43m), M Langan for Brennan (51m), N O’Donnell for McHugh (63m), E O’Donnell for S O’Donnell (73m)

Armagh

E Rafferty; A McKay, A Forker, J Morgan; Ciaran Mackin, G McCabe, J Óg Burns; S Campbell, B Crealey; C O’Neill, J Hall, T Kelly; A Nugent, A Murnin, J Duffy

Subs

Connaire Mackin for Morgan (16m), R Grugan for Hall, R O’Neill for C O’Neill (both HT), C McConville for Campbell (51m), N Grimley for Kelly (66m), C O’Hanlon for Duffy (70m)

Referee: Paddy Neilan (Roscommon)

About the author:

Declan Bogue

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