Football League, Division Three final: Armagh 1-16 0-17 Fermanagh
Andrew Murnin's second-half goal helped Armagh earn a deserved victory over Fermanagh in the Division Three Football League final at Croke Park.
Sean Quigley's early black carding was a blow for Fermanagh although his brother Seamus' six points saw the Ernemen go in level at half-time.
But Murnin's tap-in goal after keeper Patrick Cadden had failed to hold a high ball helped Armagh move five up.
Fermanagh reduced Armagh's lead but the Orchardmen held on.
Sides will meet again in Ulster SFC on 19 May
While the win lands Armagh the Division Three title, they will surely face a more testing clash when the sides meet in the Ulster Championship on 19 May at Brewster Park.
It may have been competitive, at times feisty, but this was something of a phoney war with two teams with more important issues on their minds.
Murnin's second half goal was the difference and not even Seamus Quigley (0-9), with his free-kicking expertise, could drag the Erne men back.
His brother Sean's game lasted just two minutes as his late shoulder in the chest of an Armagh defender led to his black carding by Galway referee James Molloy.
Armagh eased into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead inside the opening ten minutes, with Aidan Forker, Murnin and Niall Grimley all on target.
But the Erne men went level after Seamus Quigley converted his second free, and centre back Declan McCusker powered through to score.
Quigley's fifth converted free had his side ahead again on 28 minutes, after they had been level on five occasions, before Murnin levelled again, 0-8 each at the break.
As Armagh pushed two points ahead, Quigley's touch deserted him at the other end, with two frees drifting the wrong side of a post.
A second point from impressive defender Patrick Burns made it a three-point game, and Armagh were beginning to smell title success.
Kieran McGeeney's side struck a killer blow in the 53rd minute when Fermanagh keeper Cadden, under pressure from Gregory McCabe, could only direct a high ball into the path of Murnin, who finished to the net from close range.
Fermanagh fought back with points from Quigley, Conall Jones and substitute Tomas Corrigan, but the Armagh defence held out for the title.
Armagh: B Hughes; P Burns (0-2), A McKay, C Mackin; N Rowland (0-1), B Donaghy, G McCabe (0-1); S Sheridan, C Vernon; B Crealey (0-1), A Forker (0-2), N Grimley (0-4, 3f); R Grugan, A Murnin (1-3), E Rafferty. Subs: R McShane (0-2) for Vernon (32), G McParland for Rafferty (47), K Dyas for Rowland (59), O MacIomhair for Grugan (70), R Owens for Mackin (72)
Fermanagh: P Cadden; M Jones, C Cullen, E McHugh; B Mulrone (0-1), D McCusker (0-1), J McMahon; E Donnelly, R Jones (0-2); T Clarke, C McGee, A Breen; Sean Quigley, C Jones (0-3), Seamus Quigley (0-9, 9f). Subs: C Corrigan for Sean Quigley (BC, 2), K Connor for McHugh (h-t), R Corrigan for McGee (40), D Teague for Clarke (44), T Corrigan (0-1) for Breen (50), E Maguire for McMahon (63).
Referee: J Molloy (Galway).
|Allianz Football League fixtures - Saturday, 31 March|
|Division Three final|
|Division Four final|
|Allianz Football League fixtures - Sunday, 1 April|
|Division One final|
|Dublin||v||Galway||Croke Park, 16:00 BST|
|Division Two final|
|Cavan||v||Roscommon||Croke Park, 14:00 BST|