# Narrow win
Boost for Kerry as they grind out league victory over Armagh in Tralee
11,603 watched on in Austin Stack Park.

Kerry 0-12

Armagh 0-11

SATURDAY NIGHT SUCCESS was hard-earned for the home team, but given Kerry’s travails a week previous this outcome will be gratefully received by the Sam Maguire holders.

jason-duffy-and-david-clifford Bryan Keane / INPHO David Clifford faces Armagh's Jason Duffy. Bryan Keane / INPHO / INPHO

A grinding battle before a packed house in Tralee culminated in Kerry just managing to pack a stronger scoring punch in the finale. It was a close-run thing. Jarly Óg Burns confidently kicking over his second point of the night in the 65th minute after he had strode forward to edge Armagh 0-10 to 0-9 clear.

Kerry’s response was telling, David Clifford popping over a free to level it after a night where Barry McCambridge diligently followed him everywhere and held the star name scoreless from play. But Jack O’Connor saw his replacements come up trumps, Tony Brosnan and Donal O’Sullivan raising the white flags to send Kerry two clear.

Armagh pounded the Kerry goalmouth, winning a 20-metre free deep in injury-time with RianO’Neill placing the ball on the ground and blasting a shot that screamed over the bar. James Molloy’s final whistle sounded moments later, the pitch was invaded by hordes of young fans and Kerry were one point  clear at the end.

Kerry sought a response from last week’s humbling in Castlebar, starting nine of their triumphant All-Ireland side was a reflection of their intentions.

They began impressively, getting their hands on plenty ball and leading 0-3 to 0-1 after 12 minutes, that scoring return matching the total they posted in the entire opening period against Mayo.

andrew-murnin-and-jason-foley Bryan Keane / INPHO Armagh's Andrew Murnin and Kerry's Jason Foley. Bryan Keane / INPHO / INPHO

But Armagh dug in and their raids into the Kerry defence were successful. Rían O’Neill’s wonderful kicking helped them, he shot three first-half points. Two frees were clipped over from distance and in the 27th minute he got space in front of Stefan Okunbor, swivelled and swung his shot between the posts. 

The temperature in the game was raised before the break, the home support incensed by a couple of decisions. Yellow cards were dished out to Jack Barry, David Clifford and Aidan Forker as flashpoints emerged, the locals in attendance aggrieved at the punishments to their men.

kieran-donaghy Bryan Keane / INPHO Kieran Donaghy before the game. Bryan Keane / INPHO / INPHO

Stefan Campbell snapped over the point before the break that tied the teams at 0-6 apiece, Armagh channeled that momentum into the second half as Greg McCabe and Conor Turbitt posted shots over the bar in swift succession.

Two clear was as good as it got for Armagh, the scores drying up with the Burns effort their only other point from play in the remainder of the game. Kerry saw Clifford unusually drop two frees short, while neither himself, older brother Paudie or Sean O’Shea registered a score from play on the night. 

They were persistent though and controlled enough possession to remain in the hunt. Armagh fell behind before Ethan Rafferty judged a free to perfection as he drew his kick in with ten minutes remaining to leave the teams deadlocked at 0-9 apiece.

It had the look of a game for long stretches that would go to the wire and thus it transpired. After the Mayo hammering, Kerry will take solace that they got their head in front come the finish line.

Scorers for Kerry: David Clifford 0-4 (0-4f), Tadhg Morley 0-1, Paul Murphy 0-1, Barry Dan O’Sullivan 0-1, Sean O’Shea 0-1 (0-1f), Paudie Clifford 0-1, Darragh Roche 0-1, Tony Brosnan 0-1, Donal O’Sullivan 0-1.

Scorers for Armagh: Rian O’Neill 0-4 (0-3f), Jarly Óg Burns 0-2, Ethan Rafferty 0-1 (0-1f), Aidan Forker 0-1, Greg McCabe 0-1, Stefan Campbell 0-1, Conor Turbitt 0-1.


1. Shane Ryan (Rathmore)

4. Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle), 3. Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue), 21, Stefan Okunbor (Na Gaeil)

 7. Paul Murphy (Rathmore), 6. Tadhg Morley (Templenoe), 2. Graham O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses)

8. Jack Barry (Na Gaeil), 9. Barry Dan O’Sullivan (Dingle)

10. Dara Moynihan (Spa), 11. Sean O’Shea (Kenmare Shamrocks, 12. Adrian Spillane (Templenoe)

13. Paudie Clifford (Fossa), 14. David Clifford (Fossa  – captain), 15. Darragh Roche (Glenflesk)


  • 18. Micheál Burns (Dr Crokes) for Spillane (47)
  • 17. Tony Brosnan (Dr Crokes) for Roche (50)
  • 25. Ruairi Murphy (Listry) for Paudie Clifford (63)
  • 19. Donal O’Sullivan (Kilgarvan) for Moynihan (69)


1. Ethan Rafferty (Grange)

2. Paddy Burns (Burren), 6. Barry McCambridge (Clann Éireann), 4. Conor O’Neill (Killeavy)

5. Greg McCabe (Shane O’Neill’s), 3. Aidan Forker (Maghery), 7.Aaron McKay (Dromintee) 

8. Ciaran Mackin (Shane O’Neill’s), 14. Stefan Campbell (Clan na Gael)

10. Callum Cumiskey (Crossmaglen Rangers), 9. Jarly Og Burns (Silverbridge), 12. Tiernan Kelly (Clann Éireann)

15. Jason Duffy (Cullyhanna), 11. Andrew Murnin (St Paul’s), 13. Rian O’Neill (Crossmaglen Rangers)


  • 25. Joe McElroy (Armagh Harps) for O’Neill (inj) (22)
  • 26. Conor Turbitt (Clann Éireann) for Kelly (half-time)
  • 21. Ross McQuillan (Cullyhanna) for Campbell (55)
  • 20. Jemar Hill (Forkhill) for Cumiskey (63)
  • 17. Niall Grimley (Madden) for Mackin (75)
  • 18. Justin Kieran (Grange) for Forker (75)

Referee: James Molloy (Galway)

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