Armagh kept their promotion bid on track on track on Saturday with 0-16 to 0-10 win over Kildare at the Athletic Grounds. It was their blistering first half that paved the way to a comfortable 6 point win over Jack O’Connor’s charges.
A pitch inspection was required pre-game by match referee David Coldrick and he deemed the pitch playable. Armagh had the aid of the strong wind in the opening half. Aidan Nugent got the opening score of the game, but Paul Cribbin levelled up matters on 8 minutes. Mark Donnellan had to be at his best when making a super save from Nugent minutes later. Stefan Campbell knocked over the lead point, Niall Grimley extended the lead 0-03 to 0-01 after 22 minutes. Campbell’s second point had Armagh ahead by 5 on the half hour mark. Jamie Clarke then hit a brace of scores as Kieran McGeeney’s charges took a 0-08 to 0-01 advantage in at half time.
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Rian O’Neill and Stephen Sheridan landed points immediately after the restart to stretch the lead. Armagh were then reduced to 14 players when Jamie Clarke was sent off on a second yellow card. However, it seemed to spur on Armagh as Rian O’Neill stretched the lead to 11 points. A Kildare revival of sorts then occurred with Paddy Brophy pointing, while Adam Tyrrell and Daniel Flynn also getting a few scores. Paul Cribbin and Brophy edged the Lilywhites closer, but in truth they never got close enough to Armagh on the scoreboard. Mark Shields and Rian O’Neill sealed the win for Armagh with late scores. Kieran McGeeney’s men certainly back in the promotion bid with this win over Kildare.
Armagh: B Hughes; P Burns, C O’Neill, A Forker (0-01, f); M Shields (0-01), S Sheridan (0-01), J McElroy; N Grimley (0-01), O O’Neill (0-01); J Og Burns, S Campbell (0-02), C Cumiskey (0-01); C Turbitt, R O’Neill (0-04, 3f), A Nugent (0-02, 1f, 1 mark).
Subs: J Clarke (0-02, 1f) for Turbitt (27), J Morgan for C O’Neill (45), G McCabe for Nugent (68), B Donaghy for Shields (69), A McKay for Cumiskey (71)
Kildare: M Donnellan; P Kelly, M O’Grady, S Ryan; K Flynn, D Hyland, C Cavanagh; K Feely, T Moolick: P Cribbin (0-02), P Brophy (0-03), K Cribbin; N Kelly, D Flynn (0-01), J Hyland.
Subs: N Flynn for O’Grady (h-t), A Tyrrell (0-03, 2f) for Hyland (44), J Byrne for Cavanagh (45), J Robinson (0-01) for Moolick (56), L Power for N Kelly (65)