Conor McKenna reports from St Conleth’s Park
KILDARE AND ARMAGH could not be separated, with the sides finishing level after what was a fantastic game of football played out in St. Conleth’s Park, Newbridge
Armagh had a goal disallowed in the second minute, after Stefan Campbell was penalised for overcarrying and it was Kildare who opened the scoring courtesy of a point from Conor Hartley.
Armagh responded with two points from Jarlath Og Burns and Jamie Clarke and the Orchard County almost had a goal, after Connaire Mackin’s effort cannoned back off the crossbar.
Stefan Campbell doubled his sides lead with a decent effort before Kildare responded with two points courtesy of Fionn Dowling and Jimmy Hyland.
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It was tit for tat right up until the interval, with a fine strike from Jamie Clarke finding the target to level procedures in first half stoppage time, with the teams tied at 0-6 apiece at the break.
Armagh played with a slight breeze in the opening half and the Ulster side hit seven wides in that period alone.
Kildare opened the second half scoring with a point from Fionn Dowling but it was Armagh who registered the game’s opening goal through Stefan Campbell in the 49th minute.
Campbell found the net with a finish to beat the goalkeeper after an excellent pass from Rory Grugan and a further point from Niall Grimley gave Armagh a 1-10 to 0-8 advantage with 20 minutes to play.
Kildare responded with three points of their own and the gap was down to two points heading into the last five minutes of the match.
An excellent effort from Aaron Masterson reduced the deficit to a single point with four minutes to play and momentum was very much with Kildare at this stage.
Jimmy Hyland showed serious nerve and nail a long range free to level the game heading into additional time and it was very much anyone’s game with five minutes additional time to play.
Armagh were awarded a free in the 73rd minute after Jason Duffy was fouled and Rory Grugan made no mistake with the finish.
Kildare were given one more lifeline and a last minute free from Jimmy Hyland gave Kildare a deserved share of the spoils, with a draw no doubt the fair result after what was a fantastic game of football.
Scorers for Kildare: Jimmy Hyland 0-4 (3f), Conor Hartley, Fionn Dowling and Ben McCormack 0-2 each, Eoin Doyle, Adam Tyrrell (1f), Fergal Conway and Aaron Masterson 0-1 each.
Scorers for Armagh: Stefan Campbell 1-1, Jamie Clarke and Niall Grimley (2f) 0-3 each, Rory Grugan 0-2 (2f), Jemar Hall and Jarlath Og Burns 0-1 each.
1. Mark Donnellan (Maynooth)
2. Mark Dempsey (Moorefield)
3. David Hyland (Athy)
4. Mark Hyland (Athy)
5. James Murray (Moorefield)
6. Eoin Doyle (Naas)
7. Keith Cribbin (Johnstownbridge)
8. Kevin Feely (Athy)
9. Fergal Conway (Celbridge)
10. Conor Hartley (Sarsfields)
11. Adam Tyrrell (Moorefield)
12. Eoghan O’Flaherty (Carbury)
13. David Slattery (Confey)
14. Ben McCormack (Sarsfields)
5. Jimmy Hyland (Ballyteague)
19. Fionn Dowling (Suncroft) for Feely (7, B/S)
17. Cian O’Donoghue (Clane) for Murray (48, B/S)
18. Aaron Masterson (Moorefield) for O’Flaherty (53)
5. James Murray (Moorefield) for O’Donoghue (55, B/S reversal)
17. Cian O’Donoghue (Clane) for Hyland (59)
21. Jason Gibbons (Kilcock) for Hartley (60)
22. Padraig Nash (Monasterevin) for Tyrrell (68)
1. Blaine Hughes (Carrickcruppen)
5. Mark Shields (Whitecross)
4. James Morgan (Crossmaglen Rangers)
6. Aidan Forker (Maghery)
7. Greg McCabe (Shane O’Neills)
3. Aaron McKay (Dromintee)
2. Connaire Mackin (Shane O’Neills)
8. Stephen Sheridan (Forkhill)
9. Niall Grimley (Madden)
10. Jemar Hall (Forkhill)
20. Jarlath Og Burns (Silverbridge)
12. Ryan McShane (Armagh Harps)
11. Rory Grugan (Ballymacnab)
15. Jamie Clarke (Crossmaglen Rangers)
13. Stefan Campbell (Clan na Gael).
14. Rian O’Neill (Crossmaglen Rangers) for Burns (48)
17. Joe McElroy (Armagh Harps) for Hall (60)
22. Jason Duffy (Cullyhanna) for McShane (65)
19. Declan Loye (Mullaghbawn) for Forker (70 + 3)
Referee: Paddy Neilan (Roscommon)
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