Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 31 May 2016

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Tony Kernan completes Armagh revival

By John Campbell

Published 03/02/2014

Louth's Padraig Rath with Jamie Clarke
Louth's Padraig Rath with Jamie Clarke

Louth 0-16 Armagh 1-13: A point from a late Tony Kernan free completed a remarkable Armagh rally, earning Paul Grimley's side a draw in yesterday's NFL Division Two meeting with Louth at Drogheda.

Nine points down with the game well inside the final quarter, the in jury-hit Orchard County looked destined to get their campaign off to a poor start.

Dominant throughout the first half, with All-Star Paddy Keenan giving a master class at midfield, Louth went in at the break ahead by 0-10 to 0-4.

Indeed, it got better for the home side, scores from Colm Judge (2), Brian Donnelly and Keenan, in answer to one from Stephen Campbell, leaving nine points between the sides.

And when Armagh hinted at a revival with points from Ciaran McKeever, Rory McGrugan and Jamie Clarke, Louth were quick to reply, Keenan bringing his tally to four points and Judge adding another to make it 0-16 to 0-8.

Two Jamie Clarke points in quick succession, the first of them in the 25th minute, were greeted by only mild applause by the big Armagh following; but the volume was pumped up considerably when Stefan Forker tapped the ball to the net after Louth goalkeeper, Shane McCoy, stopped, but couldn't hold, a Stephen Campbell pile-driver.

The game's only goal came in the 32nd minute, but there was time to be added on for the stoppage in play caused by Aidan Forker receiving attention.

Backed by a rejuvenated midfield, Armagh threw everything into attack, and there was nothing the Louth defence could do to stop a now-rampant frontline.

Tony Kernan converted a free to leave two points between them, and then Stephen Campbell narrowed the gap to the minimum.

There were 37 minutes on the clock when Kernan equalised.

Scorers: Louth: C Judge, P Keenan 0-4 each, D Byrne 0-3, B Donnelly, D Maguire 0-2 each, E O'Connor 0-1.

Armagh: S Forker 1-0, S Campbell, J Clarke, T Kernan 0-3 each, E Rafferty 0-2, C McKeever, R McGrugan 0-1 each

LOUTH: S McCoy; P Rath, D Finnegan, G O'Hare; J O'Brien, P reilly, L Shevlin; P Keenan, B Donnelly; A Reid, C Judge, D Byrne; A McDonnell, E O'Connor, D Maguire. Subs: K McLoughlin for O'Brien; C Doyle for Maguire; S Campbell for Byrne; J Kermode for O'Connor; D Clarke for Judge; C Rafferty for Reid.

Armagh: P McEvoy; A Mallon,C Vernon, M Murray; M Shields, J Hanratty, R McGrugan; E Rafferty, J Lavery; S Campbell, T Kwernan, R Tasker; J Clarke, P Hughes, K Carragher. Subs: C McKeever for Hanratty; A Forker for Hughes; S Harold for Lavery; S Forker for Tasker; O McKeever for A Forker.

Referee: M Duffy (Sligo).

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