Armagh 0-19 2-13 Wicklow

Micheal O'Rourke and Ciaran Hyland
Micheal O'Rourke battles with Ciaran Hyland at the Athletic Grounds

Armagh needed last-gasp points in normal time and extra-time to snatch a draw against lively Wicklow in Saturday's All-Ireland SFC qualifier.

Wicklow moved 0-9 to 0-2 ahead and still led by five at half-time.

Four Jamie Clarke points helped Armagh move two up but Sean Furlong's goal put Wicklow ahead before Gavin McParland's point ensured extra-time.

Armagh led by two late in extra-time but another Furlong goal put Wicklow ahead before Aaron Kernan levelled.

Orchard County boss Paddy O'Rourke had mixed emotions after the final whistle.

"We looked to have had the match won both in normal time and extra-time but we weren't able to close it out and made mistakes to let them back into it," said O'Rourke.

"But we're still there although we know that it's going to be very difficult in Aughrim."

The Armagh manager will be demanding a massively improved first-half display in the replay.

Armagh were completely outplayed for the opening half in Saturday's game as James Stafford dominated the middle third of the field and set up classy forwards Furlong and Leighton Glynn for a series of fine points.

Two Tony Hannon points helped Wicklow lead 0-4 to 0-0 and while Steven McDonnell eventually opened Armagh's account in the 19th minute, the visitors then stretched their advantage to 0-9 to 0-2.

It could have been even worse for Armagh as one of Glynn's points should have been a goal as he blasted over from close range.

Armagh badly needed two points late in the half-time from Clarke and Malachy Mackin to cut the deficit to five although in truth, a scoreline of the order of 1-12 to 0-4 at the break would have been a more accurate representation of the first half.

But the burly Mackin's move to the full-forward line led to a significant improvement in the Armagh display after the break.

Glynn did extend Wicklow's lead to six straight after the restart but three Clarke points had a kick of the ball between the sides by the 45th minute.

John Murtagh wasted a goal chance to level the game but two McDonnell points and another Clarke effort had Armagh on terms by the 58th minute and they looked set for victory as Mackin and Clarke added further scores.

At that stage, Wicklow looked spent but Furlong went on an amazing run four minutes from time before blasting to the net - despite Armagh protests alleging overcarrying.

The goal stood and Armagh needed a Gavin McParland point deep into injury-time to ensure the 20 extra minutes.

The betting would have suggesting Armagh pulling away in extra-time but Mick O'Dwyer's side were proving dogged opponents as the visitors trailed by only one at the change of ends.

A wonder score from the outstanding Stafford levelled proceedings again at the start of the second period of extra-time before two Aaron Kernan points seemed to have put Armagh in control again.

But that man Furlong popped up for another remarkable goal with four minutes left in extra-time as he dispossessed Brendan Donaghy and lashed the ball past Paul Hearty.

Despite having their hands on the ball on a number of occasions, Wicklow were unable to produce the necessary composure to close out the game and another Aaron Kernan point ensured the replay.

All-Ireland Football Qualifiers

Down 1-16 1-8 Leitrim

Antrim 1-13 2-9 Carlow

Limerick 3-13 0-15 Offaly

Longford 0-15 1-17 Tyrone

Armagh 0-19 2-13 Wicklow (aet)

Meath 0-11 0-10 Galway

Laois 0-10 3-16 Kildare

London 0-13 1-17 Waterford

All-Ireland Hurling Qualifiers

Cork 1-14 2-23 Galway

Antrim 0-12 3-22 Limerick

Top Stories