Ulster Championship: Monaghan beat Armagh in semi replay

Armagh's Kevin Dyas in action against Dick Clerkin of Monaghan
Armagh were beaten by five points by Monaghan at Clones

Monaghan beat Armagh 1-18 to 1-13 in Sunday's Ulster Championship semi-final replay to set up a repeat of last year's decider against Donegal.

Armagh led in the early stages of the Clones rematch thanks to a goal by Aaron Findon.

Monaghan, holders of the Ulster title, hit back with a goal by Conor McManus who had a personal tally of 1-7.

Armagh were 1-8 to 1-4 down at half-time and failed to reduce the deficit during the second half.

They now face the tough task of meeting neighbours Tyrone in the second round of the All-Ireland qualifiers next weekend.

Farney County captain McManus said his players wanted to make up for a disappointing performance in the first game between the sides last Saturday.

"We were disappointed with how we played last week, so we knew we had to up our performance as it was always going to be a tough game.

"We worked hard on a few things in training and looked at ways we could improve.

"We will be up against a Donegal team, who will be playing in their fourth consecutive Ulster final so we are under no illusions about the task that lies ahead of us."

Armagh finished the match with 14 men on the pitch as they had already used their six substitutes when Stefan Campbell was black-carded.

That just capped a disappointing afternoon for the Orchard County as they found themselves outplayed by the current champions.

Having snatched a a last-gasp draw last weekend, some felt the impetus might be with Paul Grimley's men, but that was not the case.

They got an early boost when Findon fisted into the net after Aidan Forker's shot had come off the bar.

The goal put them 1-1 to 0-2 up - but the lead did not last long.

Monaghan were 0-7 to 1-2 ahead when Kieran Hughes spotted skipper McManus who got in behind a defender to give Philip McEvoy no chance.

The holders held a four-point advantage at the interval and they stretched that to seven with sub Chris McGuinness, keeper Rory Beggan, Dermot Malone, Dick Clerkin and Paul Finlay all registering scores.

Grimley's men did reduce the gap to four points but then McManus rattled off four scores and - despite the contributions of Tony Kernan and Jamie Clarke for Armagh - it was game over.

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