Armagh leave Kildare in their wake
Kieran McGeeney’s side too strong even when reduced to 14 men
A scuffle breaks out between the teams at the tunnel as they head in at half-time. Photograph: Philip Magowan/Inpho
Armagh 0-16 Kildare 0-10
They may have absorbed a layer of criticism following their slip-up against Laois but Armagh revived their promotion hopes in Division Two of the Allianz Football League when leaving Kildare in their slipstream at the Athletic Grounds on Saturday night.
It was a victory that leaves manager Kieran McGeeney going into the mid-league break not only comforted by the capture of another brace of points, but heartened by the provision of further evidence that he now has considerable strength in depth.
“We still have some tough challenges to come in Division Two but this win can give us fresh impetus. I thought the lads put in a big effort,” said McGeeney.
Even the loss of substitute Jamie Clarke to a red card in the opening minutes of the second-half failed to blow the Orchard County off course.
By half-time they had established a 0-8 to 0-1 lead with Stefan Campbell, Oisin O’Neill and Clarke to the fore in the scoring stakes and when they romped into a 0-13 to 0-2 advantage even after the loss of Clarke they looked set to go over the horizon.
But with Paddy Brophy helping himself to four points and impressive substitute Adam Tyrrell pocketing three, Kildare forced their hosts to maintain their concentration until the final whistle sounded. Defeat was a bitter pill for Kildare to have to swallow but manager Jack O’Connor offered no excuses.
“We were beaten by a better team. Armagh stole a march on us in the first-half and although we responded after the break, we had left ourselves too much to do,” admitted O’Connor.
Armagh: B Hughes; P Burns, A Forker (0-1, 0-1f), J Og Burns; C O’Neill, S Sheridan (0-1), J McElroy; N Grimley, O O’Neill (0-1); C Cumiskey (0-1), S Campbell (0-2), M Shields (0-1); C Turbitt, R O’Neill (0-4, 0-1f), A Nugent (0-2). Subs: J Clarke (0-2) for Turbitt (27 mins), J Morgan for C O’Neill (45), G McCabe for Nugent (69), B Donaghy for Shields (70), A McKay for Cumiskey (72). Red card: Clarke
Kildare: M Donnellan; C Kavanagh, M O’Grady, P Kelly; K Flynn, S Ryan, D Hyland; K Feely, T Moolick; P Cribbin (0-1), P Brophy (0-4), K Cribbin; N Kelly, D Flynn (0-1), J Hyland. Subs: A Tyrrell (0-3) for J Hyland (44 mins), J Robinson (0-1) for Moolick (56), L Power for N Kelly (66). Yellow card: D Flynn (40).
Referee: David Coldrick (Meath)