Top

Armagh Pay the Penalty

February 8, 2016

● Allianz national league ARmagh 0-15 Laois 1-13

So close in the end, as Armagh reduced a 7 point second half deficit to the minimum on 3 occasions but fell to a second defeat in Division Two despite a brave second-half comeback at the Athletic Grounds.Three Stefan Campbell points had Armagh playing against the breeze 3-2 up until Paul Cahillane’s 13th-minute converted penalty propelled Laois into a lead they never relinquished despite the late late onslaught by Armagh.
From the converted penalty until 12 minutes into the second half the O Moore men outscored Armagh 1-9 to 0-3 to get a firm hold on proceedings. Miceal McKenna, Gavin McParland were the three Armagh scorers during that period with Donie Kingston (0-2), Cahillane (1-3), Evan O’Carroll. Gary Walsh, Matthew Campion, Niall Donogher (1point each) finding the target for Laois who had led1-7 to 0-6 at half-time. It might have been different if keeper Graham Brody had not palmed a Colm Watters goalbound shot onto the crossbar and cleared to safety.
Twelve minutes into the second half the score stood at 1-10 to 0-6. Shea Heffron launched the Armagh comeback with their first point of the half. Two Miceal McKenna points were followed by one from Campbell. Laois big players on the night Kingston (0-2), and O Carroll pilfered critical match winning points that interrupted the home flow and denied them parity.
Points from Niall Grimley, Campbell and Ethan Rafferty brought the margin down to the minimum but Evan O’Carroll boomed over a ’45’ for Laois to double their lead. As the 3 minutes of added time was produced a Kingston free left a green flag between them but that elusive score had been missed by the width of the post on 3 occasions throughout the game. Campbell finished top scorer with 0-7 as he landed the last two scores.
With four Ulster derbies still to come in this division, and a tilt with Galway, newly-promoted Armagh now face a fight to avoid an immediate return to the third division. Ironically, the next outing is with fellow promoted side Fermanagh who got their first win with a 0-10 to 0-6 win over a Meath team who defeated Armagh last week. With Armagh and Ulster championship opponents Cavan joint bottom of the table pointless the reality is that four teams above them, Meath, Galway, Laois and Fermanagh are all on 2 points with Tyrone and Derry on top with four points apiece.
Armagh: M McNeice; S Heffron (0-1), C Vernon, R McCaughey; S Forker, A Forker (0-1), M Shields; A Findon, S Sheridan; S Campbell (0-7, 4f), M McKenna (0-3), N McConville; C Watters, C O’Hanlon, G McParland (0-1, f)
Subs: E Rafferty (0-1) for McConville (HT), E McVerry for McParland (46), N Grimley (0-1) for Sheridan (50), J McElroy for S Forker (60), O MacIomhair for Watters (62), S Connell for McCaughey (68)
Laois: G Brody; R Kehoe, M Timmons, D Seale; D Strong, P Cotter, G Dillon; K Lillis, K Meaney; J Farrell, D Kingston (0-5, 3f), N Donoher (0-1); P Cahillane (1-2, pen, 2f), E O’Carroll (0-3, one ’45’), G Walsh (0-1, f)

So close in the end, as Armagh reduced a 7 point second half deficit to the minimum on 3 occasions but fell to a second defeat in Division Two despite a brave second-half comeback at the Athletic Grounds.Three Stefan Campbell points had Armagh playing against the breeze 3-2 up until Paul Cahillane’s 13th-minute converted penalty propelled Laois into a lead they never relinquished despite the late late onslaught by Armagh.From the converted penalty until 12 minutes into the second half the O Moore men outscored Armagh 1-9 to 0-3 to get a firm hold on proceedings. Miceal McKenna, Gavin McParland were the three Armagh scorers during that period with Donie Kingston (0-2), Cahillane (1-3), Evan O’Carroll. Gary Walsh, Matthew Campion, Niall Donogher (1point each) finding the target for Laois who had led1-7 to 0-6 at half-time. It might have been different if keeper Graham Brody had not palmed a Colm Watters goalbound shot onto the crossbar and cleared to safety.Twelve minutes into the second half the score stood at 1-10 to 0-6. Shea Heffron launched the Armagh comeback with their first point of the half. Two Miceal McKenna points were followed by one from Campbell. Laois big players on the night Kingston (0-2), and O Carroll pilfered critical match winning points that interrupted the home flow and denied them parity.Points from Niall Grimley, Campbell and Ethan Rafferty brought the margin down to the minimum but Evan O’Carroll boomed over a ’45’ for Laois to double their lead. As the 3 minutes of added time was produced a Kingston free left a green flag between them but that elusive score had been missed by the width of the post on 3 occasions throughout the game. Campbell finished top scorer with 0-7 as he landed the last two scores.With four Ulster derbies still to come in this division, and a tilt with Galway, newly-promoted Armagh now face a fight to avoid an immediate return to the third division. Ironically, the next outing is with fellow promoted side Fermanagh who got their first win with a 0-10 to 0-6 win over a Meath team who defeated Armagh last week. With Armagh and Ulster championship opponents Cavan joint bottom of the table pointless the reality is that four teams above them, Meath, Galway, Laois and Fermanagh are all on 2 points with Tyrone and Derry on top with four points apiece.Armagh: M McNeice; S Heffron (0-1), C Vernon, R McCaughey; S Forker, A Forker (0-1), M Shields; A Findon, S Sheridan; S Campbell (0-7, 4f), M McKenna (0-3), N McConville; C Watters, C O’Hanlon, G McParland (0-1, f)Subs: E Rafferty (0-1) for McConville (HT), E McVerry for McParland (46), N Grimley (0-1) for Sheridan (50), J McElroy for S Forker (60), O MacIomhair for Watters (62), S Connell for McCaughey (68)Laois: G Brody; R Kehoe, M Timmons, D Seale; D Strong, P Cotter, G Dillon; K Lillis, K Meaney; J Farrell, D Kingston (0-5, 3f), N Donoher (0-1); P Cahillane (1-2, pen, 2f), E O’Carroll (0-3, one ’45’), G Walsh (0-1, f)

Bottom