Armagh gained revenge for last year’s Ulster Senior Football Championship defeat to Cavan with a 1-12 to 0-9 quarter-final victory in the Athletic Grounds.
The game was marred before the throw-in when a mass brawl mass brawl broke out. Up to 15 players were involved in the flashpoint but referee Marty Duffy took no action.
Armagh were well organised defensively and were the dominant side in a poor first half. They kicked eleven wides in the opening period and should have led by a lot more than 0-5 to 0-2 at the break.
All but one of the first-half scores came from frees. The one point that was scored from play by Jamie Clarke came after a free rebounded off the post.
Cavan’s Cian Mackey was unable to start through injury and, like Martin Dunne who sustained an injury in an incident in the warm-up, he was another huge blow to Cavan’s hopes of winning the game.
They scored the first two points of the game from frees by Eugene Keating in the opening seven minutes but failed to score again until the 45th minute.
In between times, Armagh scored eight points in a row. Cavan rallied briefly to reduce the deficit to 0-9 to 0-6 but a goal by Caolan Rafferty after 52 minutes ensured victory for Armagh.
“The most important thing today was the display by the players,” said Armagh boss Paul Grimley.
“Both in attack and defence we showed that we were well up for the game.”