Armagh 0-10 1-7 Cork

A brawl broke out at the Athletic Grounds
Tempers become frayed after Paul Kerrigan's sending-off at the Athletic Grounds

Armagh produced a second-half fightback to snatch a draw against 14-man Cork in the NFL Division 1 opener.

Paul Kerrigan hit Cork's 22nd-minute goal but he got a straight red card on the half hour which led to tempers fraying with several players involved.

Cork led 1-3 to 0-1 at half-time but Armagh hit seven without reply - including four Eugene McVerry points - to lead by one.

The Rebels fought back to lead again but Brian Mallon hit a late equaliser.

Cork, the defending league champions, dominated possession in a scrappy first half.

Fiachra Lynch opened the scoring in the eighth minute and Armagh didn't have their first shot on goal until the 11th minute.

Armagh's main first-half tactic of lumping in high balls towards targetman Malachy Mackin proved ineffective with the Cork defence totally dominant.

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Malachy Mackin is pleased with Armagh's spirit as they fight back to draw with Cork

Cork's goal came as league debutant and midfielder John Kingham allowed Kerrigan's badly-hit free to slip through his grasp and into the net.

Paul Carville finally opened Armagh's account in the 25th minute but the most notable event of the first half was Kerrigan's straight red card for appearing to lash out at Finian Moriarity on the half hour.

With tempers frayed, several players then got involved in some unseemly skirmishes which resulted in Brendan Donaghy and Graham Canty being handed yellow cards.

Cork extended their lead to six immediately after the restart but Armagh fought back impressively with seven unanswered scores - including four points from league debutant McVerry.

In addition to McVerry's scoring, the revival was sparked by some inspirational play in the middle third of the field from the switched Mackin and Ciaran McKeever.

After Armagh took the lead, points from Sean Kiely and Donncha O'Connor helped Cork regain the lead but sub Mallon's injury-time score levelled and McVerry missed a difficult free which would earned the home side both points.

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