Armagh did just enough to see off Dublin in a thrilling All-Ireland football semi-final at Croke Park today where they won by 1-14 to 1-13 to set up a final date with Kerry on the 22nd September. Armagh just about deserved the result but it was agony for Dublin who were desperately unlucky not to grab a draw when Ray Cosgrove struck the post with a free on the stroke of full time.
Dublin began the better and were a point up through Sennan McConnell after 2 minutes. Armagh on the other hand started slow and hit a couple of wides while Dublin stretched their lead with points from Cosgrove and Darren Magee. Armagh took their first point of the game after 10 minutes through Paddy McKeever and shortly after levelled the scores with points from Stephan McDonnell and Oisín McConville.
From then until half time it remained neck and neck as McConville and Cosgrove went point for point and they entered the break level at 0-06 points apiece.
The second half began with a bang as Armagh took the lead for the first time in the game through an excellent McDonnell point only to see Dublin draw level through Connell. And then the goals came, firstly Armagh's McKeever latched onto the breaking ball and his momentum carried him through to bundle the ball into Stephen Cluxton's goal. Dublin's reply was immediate however as Ciarán Whelan tore through the Armagh defence to fire an unstoppable shot past Tierney into the roof of the net as the game really came to life.
From then on it was neck and neck as McConville and Cosgrove began to shine while Whelan made his presence felt with a massive point from wide on the right. Armagh grew in confidence after that though and really put it up to Dublin and when McEntee levelled the scores for the 8th time in the game Armagh's players stepped up a gear.
And it was McConville's first point from play that decided the contest. He broke in from the right to fist the ball over the bar and send the long-suffering Armagh fans into raptures. There was time for more drama though as Cosgrove hit the woodwork with a free deep into injury time but the whistle went straight after that to break Dublin hearts and send Armagh through to their first All-Ireland final since 1977.
In the curtain raiser Derry set up an All-Ireland minor final date with Meath when they defeated Longford 3-13 to 1-03.
Filed by Johnny Proby