Kieran McGeeney: 'I don't get great joy in it but it's Armagh night'

On a dirty, stormy night in the Athletic Grounds, Armagh showed stomach for the fight on all fronts to boost their promotion hopes from Division Two while at the same time putting a considerable dent in Kildare's challenge.

Kieran McGeeney: 'I don't get great joy in it but it's Armagh night'

[team1]Armagh[/team1][score1]0-16[/score1][team2]Kildare[/team2][score2]0-10[/score2][/score]

On a dirty, stormy night in the Athletic Grounds, Armagh showed stomach for the fight on all fronts to boost their promotion hopes from Division Two while at the same time putting a considerable dent in Kildare's challenge.

Kildare were the promotion bankers but have now lost back-to-back away games in Clare and Armagh in what's turning out to be an unpredictable second tier.

Paddy Brophy was Kildare's top-scorer from play with three points and insisted there is still a lot to play for.

“It is a disappointing result, especially considering last week as well, but we have to pick ourselves up because there is still points to be gathered.

“There's four games left so hopefully we can get maximum points from those. The league is certainly not over yet.

“They adapted to conditions better than us. They kicked eight points against the breeze in the second half whereas we only kicked one against it in the first half. The second half definitely let us down."

Despite losing Jamie Clarke to a second yellow card after 37 minutes Armagh were comfortable winners against a Kildare team that didn't show the same battling qualities.

Armagh led 0-8 to 0-1 at half time but Kieran McGeeney was much happier with the eight points they scored against a galeforce wind in the second half.

“It was a great display, I was very happy with it especially against the breeze.

“I didn't think we did enough with it in the first half but they dug deep and got some great scores for us.”

McGeeney managed Kildare for six years and admitted: “I know the majority of that Kildare team well and most of them played well tonight like Kevin Feely, Daniel Flynn and the two Cribbins, Peter Kelly. I don't get great joy in it but again it's Armagh night and fair play to them.”

A half-time scuffle as both teams tried to make their way down the tunnel at the same time led to Clarke being singled out by referee David Coldrick for a yellow card. It proved a costly one, as he picked up a second yellow early in the second half and was sent off.

“He got a first yellow for something that happened at half time.. it's very difficult,” added McGeeney. “We've had one of those already this year where the ref can just pick a player out.”

Paul Cribbin scored Kildare's sole point in the first half against the wind. Armagh brought a physical edge that Kildare could not match and charged into the lead with Oisin O'Neill and Stefan Campbell using the wind to perfection to land good first-half scores.

Armagh scored seven points without reply in the first half, which stretched out to a run of 11 points in a row either side of the break as their excellent start to the second half basically killed off any hopes of Kildare mounting a fightback with a strong wind at their backs.

Armagh came out firing with four points in eight minutes with Stephen Sheridan and Aidan Nugent scoring from play.

Once they trailed 0-12 to 0-1 after 43 minutes, it was game over, though the visitors did at least put some respectability on the scoreboard with Brophy and sub Adam Tyrrell showing some resistance.

In one of the best moments of the game, Peter Kelly pulled off a superb block to deny the excellent Rian O'Neill a certain goal. Keith Flynn spilled possession, Joe McElroy fed O'Neill and just as he pulled the trigger at the near post, Kelly flung himself at the shot to keep Kildare in the game early on. It was a poor performance early in the reign of new manager Jack O'Connor.

Scorers for Armagh: R O'Neill (0-4, 3f), A Nugent (0-2, one mark), J Clarke (0-2, 1f), S Campbell (0-2), A Forker (0-1, f), S Sheridan, N Grimley, O O'Neill, C Cumiskey, M Shields (0-1 each).

Scorers for Kildare: P Brophy (0-3), A Tyrrell (0-3, 2f), P Cribbin (0-2), D Flynn, J Robinson (0-1).

ARMAGH: B Hughes; P Burns, A Forker, J Og Burns; C O'Neill, S Sheridan, J McElroy; N Grimley, O O'Neill; C Cumiskey, S Campbell, M Shields; C Turbitt, R O'Neill, A Nugent.

Subs: J Clarke for Turbitt (27), J Morgan for O'Neill (46), G McCabe for Nugent (68), B Donaghy for Shields (69), A McKay for Cumiskey (70)

KILDARE: M Donnellan; C Kavanagh, M O'Grady, P Kelly; K Flynn, S Ryan, D Hyland; K Feely, T Moolick; P Cribbin, P Brophy, K Cribbin; N Kelly, D Flynn, J Hyland.

Subs: N Flynn for M O'Grady (HT), A Tyrrell for J Hyland (45), J Byrne for Kavanagh (46), J Robinson for Moolick (56), L Power for N Kelly (66)

Referee: David Coldrick (Meath)

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