DCSIMG

Armagh All-Ireland bid hopes crushed

Jimmy Smyth shakes hands with the Dublin captain before the start of the 1977 All-Ireland final. INLM5212-215

Jimmy Smyth shakes hands with the Dublin captain before the start of the 1977 All-Ireland final. INLM5212-215

THE Armagh GAA team were crowned Ulster champions in 1977 but their bid for the All-Ireland title was crushed when they met a superb Dublin team in the Croke Park final.

Lurgan’s Jimmy Smyth, from Clan na Gael, captained the Orchard County side as they, first of all, claimed by the Ulster title by defeating Cavan 2-14 to 1-12, Monaghan 2-12 to 3-5 and Derry in the final 3-10 to 1-5.

It took them two attempts to get past Roscommon in the All-Ireland semi-final.

The first match was drawn at 3-9 to Armagh to 2-12 for Roscommon and Armagh sneaked home in the replay 0-15 to 0-14.

Their opponents in the final were the hot favourites Dublin who got off to a blistering start and despite a second half rally the Orchard County men went down 5-12 to 3-6.

Two of the Armagh goals came from Joe Kernan, who was manager of Armagh when they won their first All-Ireland crown in 2002, while Lurgan solicitor Paddy Moriarty got the other goal.

Despite the defeat there still was a rousing welcome for the players when they returned home on the Monday evening.

It was estimated a crowd of around 20,000 were in Armagh city and around the Athletic Grounds was a sea of orange and white flags.

On Tuesday the players continued their tour of the county which ended at the Davitt Park social club in Francis Street where again an enormous crowd of fans gathered.

Later in the year three Armagh players, Joe Kernan, Paddy Moriarty and Jimmy Smyth, were named in the Carroll’s All Star team to tour the USA the following spring.

 

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