Donegal clinch first Ulster SFC title in five years after penalty shoot-out victory over Armagh

May 12, 2024

Donegal's Michael Langan and Conor Turbitt of Armagh ©INPHO/James Crombie

Donegal are Ulster senior football champions for the first time since 2019 after defeating Armagh in a penalty shoot-out (6-5) in Clones this evening.

Jim McGuinness’s side trailed late in extra time before substitute Odhran Doherty stepped up to the plate for them to level it at 0-20 to 0-20 and force the shoot-out which went to sudden death and saw Shaun Patton become the hero after stopping Shane McPartlan’s spot kick.

In what was a tense and thrilling provincial decider, Ben Crealey’s point separated the sides at half-time as Armagh took in a 0-10 to 0-9 lead and then built on it after the change of ends with points via Conor Turbitt, Oisin Conaty and Stefan Campbell.

The margin still stood at four midway through the second after Campell cancelled out a point from Michael Lanagan, but it was the Tir Chonaill men that rattled off the last four scores to force extra time and keep themselves in the fight.

Niall O’Donnell, Oisin Gallen (free) and Jason McGee raised the white flags that made it a one-point game prior to sub Paddy McBrearty firing over what proved the equaliser.

McBrearty would nudged his side ahead in the third minute of extra time before Armagh found some timely points from Aidan Nugent (2) and Andrew Murnin to outweigh one from Jeaic Mac Ceallabhuí as they led by 0-18 to 0-17 at the break.

Peader Mogan tied it up again for McGuinness’s charges at the start of the second period but Armagh looked destined to get their hands on the Anglo-Celt Cup for the first time in 16 years once sub Oisin O’Neill saw a point backed up by Nugent.

Donegal got a quick response from Daire O Baoill but went scoreless for five minutes until Doherty stepped up to the plate to crack over the equaliser which sent the final to penalties where Patton would deny McPartlan for his county’s 11th Ulster SFC triumph, as the Orchard County suffered more penalty shoot-out heartbreak.

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