Armagh's three-year spell in Division One came to an end as a disappointing season finished in despair with defeat to Ulster rivals Tyrone at O’Neill’s Healy Park.

A derby thriller was level on eleven occasions before the Red Hands pulled away to win by two and confirm their survival in the top tier.

Relegation came as a bitter blow and a regrettable twist in a story of development and emergence for an Orchard squad that had dipped to Division Three in recent times.

Now they have to pick themselves up and regroup for an Ulster championship clash with Antrim in a fortnight.

For Tyrone, this was a positive conclusion to a league campaign that started with three defeats in the first four games, but ended with three wins on the spin as they prepare for a provincial clash with Monaghan at Healy Park next month.

Conor Turbitt came in for the injured Rian O’Neill and justified his selection with accurate finishing which saw him shoot three points in the opening 13 minutes.

Tyrone's Cormac Quinn has a shot blocked by Armagh's Rory Grugan

He kept the wind-assisted Orchard County in front, but they were unable to shake a Red Hand side that countered for Darren McCurry and Peter Harte to fire over points.

Niall Grimley’s mark stretched the lead to two, but three on the spin saw the home side go in front for the first time in the 22nd minute, with full-back Ronan McNamee, making his first appearance of the season, sending McCurry in to hit the target.

Armagh frustrated their opponents with a string of turnovers, with Turbitt and Aidan Forker, with a sliced gem from distance, bringing them level.

But it was Tyrone who closed the half strongly, with Darragh Canavan denied a goal by a terrific Ethan Rafferty save, after he had dispossessed a hesitant Aidan Nugent.

Deep into stoppage time, McCurry’s fourth score eased Tyrone back in front as they took a 0-8 to 0-7 lead into the interval, after the sides had been level on six occasions.

They stretched it out to three as McNamee found the perfect way to neutralise a packed defence as he thumped over a long range score, followed by a Mattie Donnelly effort.

But Stefan Campbell conjured up a couple of magical touches at the other end with inspirational scores for a resilient Orchard wide as they went level for the eighth time.

Stefan Campbell celebrates one of his three points in defeat to Tyrone

And Campbell showed defensive grit as he got back to help out at the back, with Forker and Ciaran Mackin also displaying resistance as the pressure mounted from the home side.

Rory Grugan’s creative influence crafted scores for Callum Cumiskey and Campbell as they kept it close right to the closing stages, but they were pressed back inside their own ’45 for much of the closing 10 minutes.

The hosts' game management and ball retention saw them create the openings for McCurry, with his seventh, and McNamee, to send over the scores that clinched the home win.

Tyrone: B Gallen; M McKernan, R McNamee (0-02), P Hampsey (0-01); C Quinn, F Burns, P Harte (0-03); B Kennedy, C Kilpatrick (0-02); C Meyler, K McGeary, J Oguz; D McCurry (0-07 (5f), M Donnelly (0-01), D Canavan (0-01).

Subs: M McGleenan (0-01) for Canavan (48), N Sludden for Harte (72)

Armagh: E Rafferty; B McCambridge, A McKay, A Forker (0-02); C Mackin, G McCabe, J Og Burns; S Campbell (0-03), N Grimley (0-01, m); C Cumiskey (0-01), R Grugan (0-02), J Hall (0-01); C Turbitt (0-05, 2f, 1m), A Murnin, J Duffy.

Subs: A Nugent for Murnin (24), T Kelly for Duffy (48), J Kieran (0-01) for Hall (62), C McConville for Cumiskey (70), S McPartlan for Turbitt (71)

Referee: B Cassidy (Derry).