Monday, July 21, 2008

Armagh-Notre Dame v Kerry - July 20

Armagh-Notre Dame 1-9 Kerry 0-11

Kerry's Ger Molloy on the Attack
Armagh-Notre Dame came out on the right side of an evenly contested game with this year’s surprise package, Kerry. In doing so the Orchard County kept themselves in the senior championship playoff hunt. Having missed a first half penalty that was woefully struck, Armagh capitalized in the second half when the opportunity presented itself a second time, and Brendan Quinn’s well struck shot provided the slightest of advantages that proved to be the difference in the end.

Kerry looked like the slightly better side in the first half. The Kingdom certainly played the better football, searching for their men in the forward line with measured passes. Armagh-Notre Dame on the other hand looked short on ideas and on several occasions hoofed hopeful balls into the full forward line in the hope that something good would happen, and there were no occasions where it worked to their advantage. Kerry corner back, Steven Moriarty was well positioned to deal with most of the ball played into the Armagh-ND full forward line. Armagh-ND did have some success in the early going, Martin McStravog opened the scoring, and after Richard O’Sullivan leveled for Kerry, Armagh went one ahead again through a Brian Downes point. Leading by a point, Armagh-ND won a penalty for a foot block on McStravog, and the center forward stepped up to take it himself and mis-kicked the shot so badly thar Dave Diggns simple bent down and gathered the rolling ball.

Kerry then put two scores together to go ahead by one, Mark Evan and Mike Godley, Godley’ s shot was parried over the bar by Cathal Brady. The northern side should have done better with some of their early chances, however, got their act together enough to put three points over the bar without reply. Charlie Kielt scored a fantastic point, James Kielt a second, and the third was scored courtesy of Downes. Kerry, however finished the half the stronger of the two sides as their opponents lost their way. Colin McDonnell entered the fray as a sub and made his presence felt with a score, while Mark O’Sullivan and Bernard O’Connor also pointed to make it 0-5 to 0-6 in Kerry’s favour at the half, and Kerry looking the better side.

The second half was almost a mirror of the first, with the difference being that this time around, the Brighton based side capitalized on a second penalty chance. Early in the half Brendan Quinn made no mistake with the shot and the Orchard County were two to the good. Kerry hit back with a point from McDonnell to narrow the gap, but Armagh would not let the lead slip. Charlie Kielt stepped it up in the middle of the field and Kerry did engineer some scoring chances that went awry, and proved costly in the end. O’Sullivan eventually pointed twice for Kerry, but Armagh answered through Kielt and McStravog and were able to maintain their slight advantage through to the final whistle with a dogged display. With two games left the northerners are still in the hunt, but have a tough assignment coming against the Wolfe Tones. Kerry could have almost solidified their place but will have to make the most of their remaining games with the Shannon Blues and Christopher’s.

Armagh-ND: C. Brady, C. Gallagher, M. Digney, J. Taggart, A. Downs, F. Meehan, Charlie Kielt (0-3), B. Malloy, D. Maguire, Brian Downs (0-3), Martin McStravog (0-2), James Kielt (0-1), Brendan Quinn (1-0). Kerry: D. Diggins, S. Moriarty, D. Forde, Mike Godley (0-1), D. Fox, G. Barry, J. Moroney, Richaed O’Sullivan (0-1), G. Molloy, D. Waters, Mark Evans (0-2), Bernard O’Connor (0-2), Mark O’Sullivan (0-3). Sub: Colin McDonnell (0-2)
By Rory O'Donnell

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