Armagh hit a late free for a well-earned draw
A stoppage time free converted by Armagh’s top marksman Alex O’Boyle secured the Orchard County hurlers their first point of this year’s Allianz League Division 3A campaign with a well-earned draw against Sligo in Crossmaglen on Sunday.
Following defeat to Mayo in the first round of fixtures, Armagh really needed to get something from this game and showed true grit in securing the draw when it looked at times like the match was slipping away from Karl McKeegan's men.
It was nip and tuck from the start when O’Boyle, who scored all but four points of the 1-15 tally on the day, hit the net with 15 minutes on the clock to give Armagh a narrow 1-2 to 0-4 lead. That goal was cancelled out minutes later when Sligo nabbed one of their own and with the wind at their back, the visitors pulled away late in the half to lead 1-9 to 1-4 at the break.
Armagh battled back in the second period however, with O’Boyle in fine form converting four more frees and three points from play, with just one in reply from Sligo to put Armagh in front again1-11 to 1-10. But once more Sligo responded by hitting the net and they kept the momentum going, increasing their lead to three points 2-12 to 1-12.
Time was running out for Armagh and it seemed that Stephen Sheils’ men might pull further clear again as they did in the first half, but the Orchard character came through in the end, when they held firm and scored the last three points of the game to secure a share of the spoils.
For full match report see next week’s Newry Reporter in shops on Wednesday February 14