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Armagh have beaten Derry in their first 2020 Championship game and they can look forward to a thrilling Ulster Semi Final clash with curent holders Donegal in two weeks time. The eerie setting of an empty dark Celtic Park with no supporters allowed due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the only sounds coming from the players and their management team fitted perfectly into a strange Halloween weekend for Derry, usually the happening Halloween capital.

A wet and windy Celtic Park saw Armagh stay in the lead throughout the game going in at half time with the wind at their backs six points in the lead 0:11 to 0:5.

Rory Grugan. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Rory Grugan. (file pic) Photograph: Columba O'Hare

The second half started with two Derry points added to the tally. A 20 minute spell with Armagh unable to put a score on the board and three straight points from Derry saw them just two points behind at 0:11 to 0:13 with just six minutes to go of ordinary time but they were unable to catch the Orchard. The closest they got was taking the game to within a point with four minutes of injury time played but a free from Armagh's Rian O'Neill with the whistle blown directly afterwards saw Armagh take the prize with the final score Armagh 0:17 Derry 0:15.

Scorers

Rian O'Neill 0:4; Jamie Clarke 0:3; Rory Grugan 0:3; Aidan Forker 0:2; Oisin O'Neill 0:2;Jarlath Og Burns 0:1; Conor O'Neill 0:1 and Mark Shields 0:1.

Armagh Team

Blaine Hughes, Paddy Burns, Ryan Kennedy, James Morgan, Conor O'Neill, Aidan Forker, Mark Shields, Oisin O'Neill, Stephen Sheridan, Rory Grugan, Callum Cumisky, Stefan Campbell, Jamie Clarke, Rian O'Neill, Niall Grimley.

Subs Shea Magill, Greg McCabe,Brendan Donaghy, Aaron McKay, Jarlath Og Burns, Jemar Hall, Conor Turbitt, Andrew Murnin, Jason Duffy, Joe McElroy, Cathal McKenna.

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