DONEGAL hurlers pipped Armagh to the Division 3A title in Carrickmore this afternoon with Mickey McCann’s men also sealing promotion to Division 2B.
Donegal 1-18 Armagh 0-19
by Charlie Collins in Carrickmore
Armagh native Declan Coulter struck ten points to sink his home county men. The Setanta ace top-scored for the Tir Chonaill side as they booked a return ticket to Division 2B at the first time of asking.
Gerard Gilmore’s early goal – coming after two minutes – propelled Donegal to a fine win.
Gilmore pounced to score after Armagh didn’t deal with a Bernard Lafferty ball in from the right-hand side.
Points from Gilmore and Joe Boyle helped Donegal to lead by five before Donegal goalkeeper Luke White saved well from Ryan Gaffney.
Dean Gaffney – who hit ten points for the Orchard – kept Armagh in the game, but Donegal were 1-10 to 0-7 in front with Coulter and Gilmore closing the opening period for Donegal.
Armagh narrowed the margin to a point when Danny McGee slotted over in the 46th minute.
Coulter, though, stretched Donegal’s lead again with three points before Coulter was blocked twice in the one move.
Dean Gaffney asked questions as two stoppage time frees had Armagh back just a point behind again, but Gilmore arched over with the final, fatal, blow.
Donegal: Luke White; Christopher McDermott, Stephen Gillespie, Padraig Doherty; Joe Boyle (0-1), Sean McVeigh, Jack O’Loughlin (0-1) Danny Cullen (0-1), Ciaran Finn; Bernard Lafferty, Lee Henderson (0-1), Michael Donoghue; Gerard Gilmore (1-4), Declan Coulter (0-10, 8f), PJ McCarron. Subs; Niall Cleary for McCarron (half-time), Sam Doherty for Donoghue (53), Colm Flood for Henderson (56).
Armagh: Fintan Woods; Paddy Quinn, Ciaran Clifford, Odhran Curry; Oisin Keenan (0-1), Artie McGuinness, Tiarnan Nevin; Aaron Fox, Paddy McBride (0-1); Eoin McGuinness, Nathan Curry (0-5, 1f, 1 ’65), Dean Gaffney (0-10, 7f); Danny McGee (0-1), Ryan Gaffney, Kieran McKernan. Subs: Simon Doherty for Woods (half-time), Shaun Toal for Devin (half-time).
Referee: Aiden Ferguson (Fermanagh)