Kildare next up for Armagh

March 9, 2010

SUN MARCH 14 – Crossmaglen, ARMAGH v KILDARE @ 2-30pm

The mother of all welcomes will await Orchard favourite Kieran McGeeney as he takes his Kildare team to Crossmaglen on Mother’s Day for a vital fourth round National Football league tie. Both Armagh and Kildare boast two wins out of three and the outcome on Sunday could go a long way towards the persuit of league glory.

Twelve months ago Armagh went to Newbridge and came away victorious 1-12 to 1-10 but that will have little baring on Sunday as only 8 of the Armagh team that won that day started in the latest win over Laois. McGeeney’s Kildare fare no better as they fielded only 6 players that played in that defeat by Armagh in their last winning outing against Donegal. Kildare were boosted the last day out by the return from suspension for his first league outing team Captain, John Doyle. Scorer in chief Doyle marked his comeback with 5 points against Donegal. Paddy O’Rourke was quick to transfer Andy Mallon onto dangerman Tierney against Laois and no doubt the Og’s man will be a candidate to shackle Doyle on Sunday. The Lilywhites manager will be without the services of Mike Conway and Eamonn Callaghan are still six to eight weeks away from full fitness

The injured Charlie Vernon was a miss against Laois and with Dermot Earley and Darly Flynn forming a formidable midfield partnership the hard working Armagh duo of Lavery and Toner will be under the cosh on Sunday in that vital sector of the field. The Armagh full back line will have to be on full alert as they face up to Ken Donnelly, James Kavanagh and Karl Ennis, a lively trio who know where the posts are. Paul Duffy does not look at home in the Armagh full back line but has shown his worth in the half line when moved there.

If the Armagh full back line are on full alert their Kildare counterparts Hugh McGrillen, Damien Hendy and Emmet Bolton will be on red alert as they face up to the much in-form Stevie McDonnell who has been the main man thus far scoring wise for Armagh. The perseverence of giving prolonged outings to Joe Feeney and Ryan Henderson is paying dividends with both coming more and more into their strides with every outing. The heroics from Henderson in Laois will be a great confidence booster. Malachy Mackin is working extremely hard and is gaining much needed possession in an area where Armagh always struggled to do so. His point against Laois came at a vital time in the match. Aaron Kernan on the forty in Portlaois was not as telling an impact as in Cross against Westmeath but he is providing a great link man all over the field with his engine taking him over every blade of grass. Ronan Clarke will have come on for the outing against Laois with the Og’s man clearly off the match pace

In front of a bumper home crowd we should be in for a cracking encounter with lots of good football. The Kildare graph under McGeeney has definitely soared, the Armagh graph under O’Rourke is making steady progress. With the last set of league results this game has taken on added significance in terms of promotion and later league involvement. Armagh did not perform all that fluently against Laois but ground out a win in a tight match where thay had become accustomed to losing. The manner of the Laois win will do confidence the power of good and help them to a third successive league win before heading to Newry for the “Auld Firm Clash”