Wolfe Tones lost by four points at Clann Eireann against an Armagh Harps side that showed more craft and experience than the Derrymacash men to book a place in the next round of the Senior Championship.
Although the Tones will have to wait until July before they enter the qualifiers system, they showed enough against the city side to suggest that survival in Division One is an achievable goal.
James Lavery put Wolfe Tones in front for the first and only occasion by steering in the game’s opening point.
Play came close to a goal but resolute defensive work by both sides restricted the attacking threat.
Wolfe Tones’ leading players included Lavery, Declan Lavery, Ryan McQuillan, Johnny McCarron and Ruairi McCaughley.
Lavery added 2-3 to his opening point - with Michael Carson strong at wing back for Wolfe Tones.
Harps held a six-point lead at the interval but Lavery’s brace and a fine strike by Adam McKeever on the run kept Derrymacash-based Tones in contention.
Two goals inside as many minutes handed Wolfe Tones cause for celebration as Lavery’s drilled effort eventually crossed the line then he collected and converted a pass by Armagh’s Finnian Moriarty.
Harps posted a string of points to put Tones on the backfoot, with Caolin Farrell finding the final score of the night for the Derrymacash men.
Harps ultimately came out on top thanks to superior experience and craft at crucial moments.
The Harps response to a Lavery goal double proved decisive and Tones must now switch focus to Division One survival and an Intermediate date in the Championship qualifiers.