Published Sunday, 10 June 2012
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A capacity crowd of 16,418 certainly got their money's worth as the game ebbed and flowed with the sides level on no fewer than four occasions in a sublime first half after which Tyrone led 0-11 to 1-5.
The intensity relented only slightly after the restart as it continued to be nip and tuck even when Armagh had a man sent off in the final quarter.
Tyrone will now meet the winners of next weekend's last quarter final between Donegal and Derry at Ballybofey.
Tyrone were leading by two points to one when Armagh took the lead for the first time in the ninth minute. When Aidan Forker found the net in clinical fashion, his carefully placed left footed shot gave Paschal McConnell no chance.
Points from Colm Cavanagh and Martin Penrose enabled Tyrone to draw level before Jamie Clarke replied with an excellent score from an acute angle.
Penrose, Peter Harte and Owen Mulligan then added three scores without reply as Tyrone led 0-7 to 1-2 after 19 minutes.
Clarke got his second point of the day shortly afterwards before Stephen O'Neill replied with a delightful close-range effort.
Armagh then drew level again with points from Kevin Dyas and Aidan Forker as both sides continued to thrill the crowd with some exhilarating football.
However Tyrone hit the last three scores of the first half through Mark Donnelly, Penrose and Dermot Carlin to lead 0-11 to 1-5 at the interval.
Penrose hit a free in the first minute of the second half to briefly stretch the Tyrone lead to four but Brian Mallon replied in similar fashion 60 seconds later.
The pace of the game had dropped but Penrose gave Tyrone a little more breathing space with a carbon copy of his earlier effort.
But Clarke and second half sub Gavin McParland reduced the gap to just two points with a couple of superb scores in the 45th minute.
And McParland then reduced the margin to the minimum three minutes later with a brilliant point from play.
Penrose scored yet another free in the 51st minute as Tyrone kept their noses in front.
O'Neill looked certain to put the game beyond Armagh's reach with a goal shortly afterwards but they had to settle for a point from Penrose as the ball broke clear after the full forward had been crowded out.
A three point deficit became a bigger mountain for Armagh to climb when Kevin Dyas was sent off for a second bookable offence as the game entered the final quarter.
Still Paddy O'Rourke's side refused to give up and successive points from Clarke and Mallon left only a single score in it with seven minutes left.
Then Mallon sent over the equalising score to bring the crowd to their feet as the game entered the last five.
However, late scores from Peter Harte and Penrose put Tyrone two ahead as the board for four minutes stoppage time.
O'Neill increased the margin to three in the second added minute before Clarke replied at the other end.
Armagh needed a goal at that stage and it wouldn't come as instead it was Tyrone who made sure of victory with another Penrose free in the last act of a Titanic battle.