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Dramatic last minute Tipperary goal sees Armagh miss out on promotion

It was a winner-takes-all battle at the Athletic Grounds

Armagh 0-16 Tipperary 3-8

A dramatic last minute Tipperary goal has consigned Armagh to another season of Division Three football.

Kieran McGeeney’s men led by two points with time virtually up but a third goal in the dying embers of a game Armagh had controlled for large parts sent the The Premier on their way to a league final with Louth in Croke Park next Saturday evening.

Armagh made three changes to the side that beat beat Antrim last Saturday night with Andrew Murnin, Oisin O’Neill and Anto Duffy all coming in.

It was the biggest crowd of the season at the Athletic Grounds and rightly so, as the sun shone for this final day promotion battle.

Stefan Campbell got the Orchardmen off to a great start with a point in the opening moments of the contest before Tipp’ responded with two of their own.

Murnin pulled the sides level before last week’s penalty hero Blaine Hughes prevented an early goal with a fine stop.

The Premier regained the lead shortly afterwards, before four unanswered points from Rory Grugan, Jamie Clarke, Aidan Forker and Niall Grimley gave Kieran McGeeney’s men a three-point advantage at the interval.

Playing with the wind at their backs in the second half, Tipperary got off to a blistering start with a goal in the opening sixty seconds of the half, levelling the tie.

However, Armagh hit back with two in two minutes, through the impressive Grugan and Clarke.

But the Munstermen were keen to stay in touch and pulled another one before Grugan and Grimley extended the hosts’ lead to three once more.

It was a lead that was to be short-lived as Hughes’s goal was picking the ball from his net for the second time in the 47th minute.

Tipperary knocked over three unanswered points before Gregory McCabe gave the hosts a two point cushion, But with virtually the last kick of the game Armagh hearts were broken with the concession of a third and ultimately fatal goal.

It’s a long way to Tipperary but it’ll be an enjoyable one for the Munstermen who came north of the border and took what they wanted.

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