It was a day of high drama and emotion, both on and off the field, as Armagh secured a valuable league point against All-Ireland finalists Mayo in the Athletic Grounds on Sunday afternoon.
A capacity crowd crammed into the Dalton Park venue for Armagh’s first home game of the National League season.
Among the supporters were the McNally family who lost their daughter Natalie in tragic circumstances just before Christmas.
Fans stood and applauded in the 32nd minute – Natalie’s age – while holding aloft posters adorned with her face. The big screen also displayed an image of the murdered mum-to-be.
And before the game, recently retired Armagh kitman Paddy ‘The Bishop’ McNamee was presented with a cup and a framed signed jersey from the panel and backroom team. Paddy dedicated 20 years of service to the senior team.
On the field, both Armagh and Mayo could make arguments for the win but in the end the two sides shared the spoils.
Armagh will feel most relieved having claimed the equalising score seven minutes in added-on time, courtesy of a Rian O’Neill free-kick.
With the clock ticking over the 70 minute mark, it looked as if Armagh were to be denied but some sloppy Mayo play and the accurate boot of Rian O’Neill means Armagh remain unbeaten with three points from their opening two games.
Next up, league leaders Roscommon in Dr Hyde Park in two weeks time.
Check out images from Sunday’s game below. Photos courtesy of Vincent Loughran.