Armagh beat 14-man Rossies to reach All-Ireland semis

Turbitt celebrates his goal
Conor Turbitt scored Armagh's second goal after a Roscommon kick-out went badly awry [Getty Images]

Armagh marched into their first All-Ireland semi-final since 2005 with a 2-12 to 0-12 win over 14-man Roscommon in a forgettable last-eight encounter at Croke Park.

The Orchard men, who fell in the quarters in 2022 and 2023, led by five after 28 minutes thanks to an impressive 1-1 from wing-back Barry McCambridge, whose attacking enterprise led to him hitting a superb 19th-minute goal.

While Roscommon fought back to trail by just two at the break, their hopes were dashed when midfielder Ruaidhri Fallon was sent off for two bookable offences shortly before half-time.

The Rossies, who stunned Tyrone in Omagh last week to reach this stage, showed spirit early in the second half but were undone when a botched kick-out allowed Conor Turbitt to lash the ball into Conor Carroll's net after 51 minutes.

Turbitt's goal - his seventh in championship football - extended Armagh's advantage to six and they negotiated the final quarter to become the first team to seal a last-four spot.

Rossies hit by red card after McCambridge goal

Armagh's quarter-finals over the past two years have delivered their fair share of drama - with penalty shootout defeats by Galway and Monaghan - but the first half here was hardly edge-of-you-seat stuff.

It started promisingly with a wonderful Conor Turbitt score after just 10 seconds.

But that failed to spark the game into life. McCambridge spurned an early Armagh goal chance, his effort from short range blocked after Rian O'Neill's searching punt caused problems in the Roscommon defence.

On a grey and wet summer's afternoon at headquarters, conditions were challenging with players from both sides losing their footing and struggling to hold the ball.

Roscommon's shooting let them down badly, too, with four wides and a further four efforts dropping short.

After a Niall Grimley point, the Rossies finally opened their account on 17 minutes through Conor Cox.

But after a Daire Cregg shot dropped short, Armagh punished the Connacht men, with McCambridge exchanging passes with Grugan before lashing an unstoppable shot in off the underside of the crossbar, giving the game a much-needed shot in the arm.

Moments later, McCambridge - who was also a regular attacking outlet for Armagh against Derry in last month's group game - fisted over the bar to give a five-point cushion.

But while the Rossies landed the last three scores of the half - through Conor Cox (2) and Niall Higgins - their hopes were dented when Fallon was dismissed for his challenge on Grugan.

Fallon fouls Grugan
Roscommon's Ruaidhri Fallon was shown a second yellow card for his challenge on Rory Grugan [Getty Images]

While Roscommon came out fighting in the second half with scores from Eoin McCormack and Dylan Ruane, the beaten Ulster finalists responded through McCambridge, Oisin Conaty and Stefan Campbell, who was introduced by Kieran McGeeney at the interval.

After exchanging the next four scores, Roscommon lost the ball from a kick-out, with Tiernan Kelly able to feed Turbitt for the killer goal.

While Roscommon battled on, Armagh kept them at arm's length as they avenged last year's quarter-final shootout loss to Monaghan at this stage and booked their place in the last four for the first time in nearly 20 years.

It has been another rollercoaster season for Armagh. Promoted from Division Two and beaten in another Ulster final in the most gut-wrenching circumstances imaginable, they have bounced back impressively to top a group that included Derry and Galway and are now one win away from an All-Ireland final.

Armagh: Blaine Hughes; Paddy Burns, Aaron McKay, Peter McGrane; Barry McCambridge (1-2, 1m), Tiernan Kelly, Aidan Forker (0-1); Niall Grimley (0-1), Ben Crealey; Oisin Conaty (0-4), Rian O’Neill, Joe McElroy; Rory Grugan, Andrew Murnin, Conor Turbitt (1-2, 1f).

Subs: Stefan Campbell (0-2) for McGrane (HT), Oisin O'Neill for Rian O'Neill ('50), Ross McQuillan for Forker (50-58 blood sub), Aidan Nugent for Grugan (55), Connaire Mackin for Crealey (64), Jason Duffy for Forker (70).

Roscommon: Conor Carroll; Niall Higgins (0-1), Brian Stack (0-1), Robbie Dolan; David Murray, Ronan Daly, Eoin McCormack (0-1); Enda Smith, Ruaidhri Fallon; Ultan Harney, Diarmuid Murtagh (0-1), Shane Cunnane; Daire Cregg, Conor Cox (0-5, 4f), Donie Smith.'

Subs: Dylan Ruane (0-2) for Murray ('6), Ciaran Lennon for Harney (14), Adam McDermott (0-1) for Donie Smith ('54), Cathal Heneghan for Daly ('61), Andrew Glennon for Cunnane ('67).

Red card: Ruaidhri Fallon ('34).

Referee: Martin McNally (Monaghan).