Rian O'Neill sees red in Armagh defeat for kneeling on Tyrone defender 4 months ago

Rian O'Neill sees red in Armagh defeat for kneeling on Tyrone defender

It was a crucial moment in the game.

Rian O'Neill received a straight red card for kneeling on Cormac Quinn in an off-the-ball incident during Armagh's defeat to Tyrone in the championship.

Advertisement

It was Tyrone's first win since they beat Fermanagh in the preliminary round of Ulster last year, since then losing to Monaghan and Galway.

The Red Hand county were well on top in the first half with Darren McCurry kicking four points, and Darragh Canavan adding a wonderful one from range himself.

Rian O'neill

It was the other inside forward however who was running the show, as Mattie Donnelly controlled everything by playing his roaming role, kicking a great score, and setting up two others.

Advertisement

Despite being at the heart of so many attacks he was also back in defence at crucial times to pick up the ball and dictate the play from deep.

Armagh did have their chances, particularly in front of goal and only for the reflexes of Niall Morgan, Conor Turbitt almost found the net in the opening minute.

Rian O'Neill

Peter Harte had a chance to really put the sword in late in the half when he found himself bursting through the Orchard county's defence and smashing the ball off the post, in what looked like a certain goal.

Advertisement

It was during this attack that O'Neill got caught in an off-the-ball incident with Quinn, with the away captain on top of the tigerish defender, and it looked like he was pressing his knee into his opponent's face.

The second half started and it didn't actually seem like Brian Dooher's men had a numerical advantage, as Armagh got the first point and probably looked the more lively of the two sides.

Advertisement

O'Neill's absence was greatly noticed when Turbitt missed a free kick that you would have expected him to score; a dead ball situation that the suspended captain almost certainly would have converted.

Although not pleasant on the eye, Tyrone controlled possession, ran the ball from deep, and drew several fouls for easy free kicks to keep the scoreboard ticking.

As has been the theme of these group-stage championship matches, the game burst into life in the last five minutes when Armagh got consecutive scores to bring the game to just a three-point difference.

Advertisement

Canavan showed real leadership at this point when the game was in the melting pot as he drove through the orange and white defence before kicking a beautiful score.

Rory Grugan got one back to mean that there was just a kick of the ball in it between the two rivals, and the tension was palpable at this point.

Then, in a moment of complete madness, after keeping the ball for most of injury time, a simple back-pass to Morgan was spilled and Armagh very nearly got that elusive goal to equalise.

In the end, Tyrone won by two - although not glamorous, they will be delighted to get back to winning ways.

Related links: