Monday 19 February 2018

ó Sé sees red on woeful night for Kerry

Armagh 2-8 Kerry 0-10

There is little doubt that Kerry have set their stall out this year to make the Allianz NFL semi-finals this year but their latest mix of youth and experience was shocked by an Armagh side that had the Kingdom on the ropes early and never let up at the Austin Stack Park last night.

Armagh always led and Kerry did not score for 18 minutes before having Tomas O Se red-carded five minutes from time. Kerry made two changes from the side that gained All-Ireland revenge of sorts over the Dubs, with Anthony Maher resuming his successful midfield partnership with Bryan Sheehan, while Aidan O'Mahony replaced the youthful Peter Crowley in defence.

Armagh made a number of changes, the most significant being the switching of Malachy Mackin from the edge of the square to midfield. Armagh threatened to blow Kerry away early on as they raced 1-3 to no score clear inside a blistering opening 15 minutes -- Brian Mallon with the goal.

Kerry eventually opened their account in the 18th minute and they rallied to close the gap to four -- 1-4 to 0-3 -- by the interval.

The Kingdom were dealt a body blow within a minute of the restart however when Armagh struck for another goal, John Kingham back-heeling to the net.

However, the arrival of Declan O'Sullivan was to have a huge impact as Kerry hit back with a succession of points. Bryan Sheehan (0-3 frees) and a superb Declan O'Sullivan score saw Kerry reduce the deficit to three and they had a goal, scored by Darran O'Sullivan, disallowed for a throw ball. Armagh full-back Brendan Donaghy took the ball off the line after O'Sullivan knocked it over the 'keeper.

But Armagh rallied and kicked three unanswered points from Aidan Forker, Anto Duffy and Mackin which saw them move six clear again.

Kerry tried hard but Armagh were superb at the back and the red carding of Tomas O Se late on spelled disaster for the Kingdom. Armagh deservedly took a valuable brace of league points, despite the fact they also finished with just 14 men after Finnan Moriarty received a second yellow.

Scorers -- Armagh: A Forker 0-4 (2f), B Mallon, J Kingham 1-0 each, M Machin 0-2, A Duffy, C Watters 0-1 each. Kerry: B Sheehan 0-6 (0-5 f), J O'Donoghue 0-2 (1f), S O'Sullivan, Declan O'Sullivan 0-1 each.

Armagh: P McEvoy; A Mallon, B Donaghy, D McKenna; K Dyas, C McKeever, F Moriarty; C Vernon, M Machin; A Forker, B Mallon, A Duffy; C Rafferty, J Kingham, E McVerry. Subs: B J Padden for C Rafferty (44), C Watters for B Mallon (54), J Lavery for K Dyas (65), G McPartland for A Forker (68), D Lavery for A Duffy (70)

Kerry: B Kealy; S Enright, M O'Se, B McGuire; T O Se, K Young, A O'Mahony; A Maher, B Sheehan; P Galvin, Darran O'Sullivan, S O'Sullivan; J O'Donoghue, K Donaghy, B J Keane. Subs: Declan O'Sullivan for S O'Sullivan (35), D Bohan for S Enright (45), P Crowley for A O'Mahony (58), P Curtin for BJ Keane (60), S Scanlon for A Maher (68).

Referee: Maurice Condon (Waterford)

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