Tyrone’s unbeaten start to 2016 continued at Healy Park on Saturday night but they were denied a 12th straight victory when Armagh substitute Niall Grimley flicked the ball to the net in the last attack of the game.
The home side went on the attack straight from the throw in with top scorer Ronan O’Neill over the bar after only twenty seconds. The home side then lost Peter Harte to an early injury but they moved 0-3 to 0-1 in front with Richard Donnelly on target as well as O’Neill again. Colm Watters, Aidan Forker and Stefan Campbell all had Armagh points with Connor McAliskey replying for Tyrone. In the 33rd minute Tyrone almost got in for a goal when a great ball from Tiernan McCann found McAliskey who turned sharply before racing through but he blasted over the bar. Campbell and McAliskey exchanged points as Tyrone led 0-8 to 0-6 at the break.
In the second half Tyrone stretched that advantage to four points thanks to scores from O’Neill and Darren McCurry before substitutes Tony Kernan and Mark Bradley traded points. Tyrone failed to score again though despite the fact that Armagh were down to fourteen men after Watters was sent off for a second booking. A sixth point from Campbell left just a score between the sides until Grimley’s later intervention.
Tyrone – Niall Morgan; Aidan McCrory, Padraig Hampsey, Cathal McCarron; Niall Sludden, Rory Brennan, Tiernan McCann; Colm Cavanagh, Mattie Donnelly; Peter Harte, Ronan O’Neill (0-5, 3f), Richard Donnelly (0-2); Darren McCurry (0-2, 2f), Sean Cavanagh, Connor McAliskey (0-3). Subs – Mark Bradley (0-1) for Harte, Barry Tierney for Sludden, Conall McCann for McAliskey, Padraig McNulty for Richard Donnelly
Armagh – Patrick Morrison; Andy Mallon, Charlie Vernon, Shea Heffron; Mark Shields, Sean Connell, Aidan Forker (0-1); Joe McElroy, Ethan Rafferty; Rory Grugan, Miceal McKenna, Ciaran O’Hanlon; Colm Watters (0-2), Stefan Campbell (0-6, 5f, 1 “45”), Gavin McParland. Subs – Tony Kernan (0-1) for O’Hanlon, Niall Grimley (1-0) for Rafferty, Aaron Findon for McKenna, Jemar Hall for Campbell, Stefan Forker for McParland