A last-gasp point from Ryan Gaffney took Armagh to victory over Kildare in this tingling National Hurling League Division Three tie at the Athletic Grounds yesterday.
Kildare, buoyed by an Adrian McAndrew goal after just five minutes, led by 1-7 to 1-5 at the break after Declan Coulter had sparked a home team renaissance with a 23rd minute goal.
The accuracy of Paul Fitzgerald – he scooped seven points in all (four frees) – helped Kildare to keep their noses in front during the third quarter but a further Armagh revival brought points from Paul Breen, Paul McCormack, Nathan Curry and Coulter to bring parity at 1-10 each.
Kildare appeared to have seized the initiative again when Anthony Murphy and Fitzgerald landed points but a resilient Armagh underlined their spirit by responding yet again, with Gaffney pouncing for the late winner that keeps them undefeated.
Armagh scorers: D Coulter (1-4), P Breen (0-3, all frees), P McCormack (0-3), N Curry (0-2), R Gaffney (0-1 each).
Kildare scorers: P Fitzgerald (0-7, 0-4 frees), A McAndrew (1-0), K Divilly, A Murphy (0-2 each), N Monaghan (0-1).
ARMAGH: J Burke; B Mallon, P McArdle,
R Digby; B McCormack, E McDonnell, K McGreevey; N Curry, J Corvan; G Enright, P McCormack, D Coulter; P Breen, R Gaffney, K McKiernan. Substitutes: C McArdle for Corvan (53 mins), J Breen for Enright (55 mins).
KILDARE: P Dermody; P Reidy, D Ryan, K Chan; D Harney, D Kennedy, R Hoban; L Harney, M Maloney; K Divily, P Divilly, T Murphy; N Monaghn, A McAndrew, P Fitzgerald. Substitutes:O Lynch for Maloney (half-time), S Lyons for D Harney, D Cafferty for P Divilly (both 64 mins).
REFEREE: R Matthews (Antrim).