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O'Neill on target as Armagh compound Kildare's misery

Armagh 0-16 Kildare 0-10

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Paddy Burns of Armagh in action against Paddy Brophy of Kildare. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Paddy Burns of Armagh in action against Paddy Brophy of Kildare. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Paddy Burns of Armagh in action against Paddy Brophy of Kildare. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Armagh got the better of Kildare on an appalling night weather-wise at the Athletic Grounds, edging out the Leinster side to rekindle their drive for promotion. The last week has been a disaster for Kildare. Having now endured back-to-back losses, their promotion prospects are hanging by a thread.

Their decision to play against the wind and rain despite winning the toss backfired badly as they trailed by seven points at the break (0-8 to 0-1). And even though first-half substitute Jamie Clarke was red-carded early in the second half, the home side held out comfortably.

But for the excellence of Kildare goalkeeper Mark Donnellan and some bad misses by the Orchard County, the visitors would have endured a far more comprehensive defeat.

Armagh's Aidan Nugent took a mark inches from the ground and converted it after four minutes. It was from a Donnellan restart that Kildare kicked the equaliser after eight minutes, with Paul Cribbin kicking a great point.

Jarlath Óg Burns broke through the Kildare cover before off-loading to Nugent, whose shot was brilliantly smothered by Donnellan.

Although Stefan Campbell edged Armagh in front their wides tally started to mount. Gradually the home side began to find their range. Oisin O'Neill kicked two points while Aidan Forker converted a 20-metre free.

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David Hyland of Kildare in action against Oisín O'Neill, left, and Conor Turbitt of Armagh. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

David Hyland of Kildare in action against Oisín O'Neill, left, and Conor Turbitt of Armagh. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

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Clarke - who replaced Conor Turbitt after 27 minutes - hit the last two points of the half but their key player was centre-forward Campbell.

There were fisticuffs as the teams left the field. Initially Kildare allowed the Armagh players into the congested tunnel area but then a row broke out between the Armagh substitutes and the Kildare players.

Within 90 seconds of the restart Jamie Clarke was dismissed for a second yellow after catching Shea Ryan with a frailing arm. The margin was down to seven points as Kildare sub Adam Tyrrell and Paddy Brophy found their range, but a Mark Shields point for Armagh broke the visitors' momentum.

Scorers - Armagh: R O'Neill 0-4 (3f), O O'Neill, S Campbell, J Clarke, A Nugent (1m) 0-2 each, A Forker (1f), S Sheridan, C Cumiskey, M Shields 0-1 each. Kildare: P Brophy 0-4, A Tyrrell 0-3 (2f), P Cribbin, D Flynn, J Robinson 0-1 each.

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Joe McElroy of Armagh gathers possession ahead of team-mate Mark Shields and Paul Cribbin of Kildare. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Joe McElroy of Armagh gathers possession ahead of team-mate Mark Shields and Paul Cribbin of Kildare. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Armagh: B Hughes; C O'Neill, A Forker, P Burns; M Shields, S Sheridan, C Cumiskey; N Grimley, J Og Burns; O O'Neill, S Campbell, J Mc Elroy; C Turbitt, R O'Neill, A Nugent. Subs: J Clarke for Turbitt (28); J Morgan for C O'Neill (46), G McCabe for Nugent (68), B Donaghy for Shields (69), A McKay for Cumiskey (70).

Kildare: M Donnellan; P Kelly, M O'Grady, S Ryan, K Flynn, D Hyland, C Kavanagh; K Feely, T Moolick; P Cribbin, P Brophy, K Cribbin; N Kelly, D Flynn, J Hyland. Subs: N Flynn for O'Grady (ht); A Tyrrell for 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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