Galway’s Liam Silke, left, and Joe McElroy of Galway during Sunday’s drawn game at Sligo. [Inpho/Ben Brady]

Goalie's blunders open door

Armagh 1-12; Galway 0-15

Galway’s implosion in this game was akin to the old cliche of stealing defeat from the jaws of victory -  even if this game ended up level at Markievicz Park, Sligo, on Sunday afternoon.

The Tribesmen had shaken off an Armagh challenge to lead by five points with 15 minutes to go 0-13 to 0-8 and were playing well within themselves to actually add to the margin.

Instead two moments of madness by goalkeeper Conor Gleeson, especially when you consider he was playing with a substantial enough wind at his back, threw the game back into the melting pot as the attempted short kickouts led to a goal and a point to pump new life into Armagh’s previous somnambulant challenge.

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They then managed to get back level and even when Galway went ahead again through a Shane Walsh long-range free, Kieran McGeeney’s boys had enough devil in them to seek a last-gasp equalizer when sub Stefan Campbell got on the end of a good move to fist over the point that ensured his team garnered a draw which guaranteed them top place in their group on score difference over the three games.

Galway did the same last year to the same opposition and will now need to be out four weekends in a row, with a game this weekend at home to lowly Monaghan,  if they are to progress further in the competition.

Although playing with the breeze, there was little to cheer about among the 9,000 attendees as Galway led by 0-8 to 0-6 after playing the superior football for that period.

They kept up a high rhythm with the elements favoring them

After some shadow-boxing, Galway points from Paul Conroy, Dylan McHugh and Liam Silke gave them a 0-13 to 0-8 advantage with quarter of an hour to go. 

It looked like they would kick on but Conor Turbitt changed the complexion of the game by slotting over a free after 58 mins before intercepting Gleeson’s kick out, soloing in and parting at the perfect time to Tiernan Kelly who left-footed home as Galway conceded their first championship goal this season.

Rian O’Neill came up with the equalizer and Turbitt’s razor sharp response saw him intercept Gleeson’s attempt at a second short kick out. The forward advance before fisting over a lead score for the men in orange. Galway equalized again and Walsh put them ahead but Armagh didn’t panic. 

They ran the clock down as they advanced into enemy territory before an injection of pace from Campbell saw him bear down on goal from the left side and his fisted effort just scraped over the bar for the most important score of the day from an Armagh point of view.

Three minutes later O’Neill tied the side before Turbitt again intercepted a kick out from Gleeson and fisted them in front with eight minutes left on the clock.

Armagh: B Hughes; B McCambridge, A McKay, P McGrane; C Higgins, T Kelly (1-1), A Forker; N Grimley, B Grealey (0-1); J McElroy, R O'Neill (0-3), O Conaty; R Grugan, A Murnin (0-2), C Turbitt (0-4, 0-1f) Subs: S Campbell (0-1) for Higgins (h-t), R McQuillan for Conaty (48), A Nugent for Forker (54), O O’Neill for McGrane (65).

Galway: C Gleeson; J McGrath, S Mulkerrin, J Glynn; D McHugh (0-1), L Silke (0-1), S Fitzgerald; P Conroy (0-2), S Kelly; M Tierney (0-1), J  Maher (0-1), C Darcy; R Finnerty (0-3, 0-2f), S Walsh (0-5, 0-3f), C McDaid (0-1) Subs: J Daly for Mulkerrin (47), C Sweeney for McDaid (54), J Heaney for Kelly (61), D O’Flaherty for Darcy (68), T Culhane for Finnerty (70).

GAA Results

All Ireland SH Qualifier Quarter-Finals

Cork 4-25; Offaly 3-19

Wexford 0-32; Laois 0-20

All Ireland SF Round Robin  Round 3 games

Donegal 2-23; Clare 0-5

Tyrone 1-18 Cork 0-17

Roscommon 3-20; Cavan 0-20

Derry 2-7; Westmeath 0-9

Armagh 1-12; Galway 0-15

Monaghan 1-17; Meath 1-14

Kerry 2-21; Louth 1-10

Dublin 0-17; Mayo 0-17

Draw for SF Quarter-Finals

Mayo v Derry

Galway v Monaghan

Louth v Cork

Tyrone v Roscommon

Tailteann Cup Quarter Finals

Down 1-18; Wicklow 0-12

Sligo 2-20; Limerick 0-9

Antrim 1-11; Fermanagh 0-11

Laois 2-11; Kildare 0-12

Tailteann Cup semi-finals

Down v Sligo

Antrim v Laois

Ref: S Hurson (Tyrone).