By Pierce O’Reilly
Armagh 3-12, Celtics 0-10
Armagh powered to a facile victory over Celtics in the opening game at Gaelic Park on Sunday.
The Ulstermen were on top in every position from the off and with Liam O’Hare and Mark McShane in fine form in front of the posts, they took an early lead. At the interval, the Orchard County led by 1-5 to 0-4 with their midfield partnership of Collie Fearon and Lee Grant dominating. At the back, Louis Breslin and Niall McMahon were outstanding, soaking up every attack that was thrown at them.
Celtics, who started the season brightly, have slipped of late and all the best efforts of Danny O’Sullivan, Kenny Cox and John Walsh couldn’t halt the second-half onslaught.
Armagh is going to push Fermanagh and Donegal to the final game, and if they continue to develop as a unit, they’ll rattle the top two in the playoffs. Gary McConnell has his side in good shape right now and with a few more summer imports yet to be added to his ranks, he’ll be eyeing a berth in the playoffs next month.
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Donie O’Sullivan will be disappointed with his side’s performance. If they lose again, their playoff hopes will go with it.
Armagh: G. Shanley, T. Downey, P. McKeon, N.McMahon, S. Murphy, K. O’Hare, L. Breslin, C. Fearon, L. Grant, P. Kearns, M. McShane, D. McCann, O.McPartland, L. O’Hare, N. McPartland.
Celtics: J.McArdle, N. Rooney, M. McKenna, A.O’Grady, A. Traynor, J. Walsh, M. McCormack, D. McKenna, D. O’Sullivan, D. O’Sullivan, K. Cox, N. McGuiness, S. Gaynor, J. O’Leary, J. Mulane.