Armagh 1-12 Kildare 0-10
Armagh secured their Division One status with a five-point win over Kildare on a wet and windy Saturday evening.
Give the Orchard’s impressive form to date, they were expected to win this one, but Kildare were worthy opposition.
The Lilywhites started the brighter of the two teams, opening up an early two-point lead.
Paddy Woodgate opened the scoring while Daniel Flynn doubled his sides advantage with a long-range mark.
Aidan Forker, who was superb from Flynn and held him scoreless from play, replied instantly with a point of his own.
Tiernan Kelly levelled the game before Ben McCormack and Jemar Hall traded scores. The sides tied 0-3 apiece again 16 minutes of play.
Then came the game-defining score as Jarly Og Burns saw his effort stopped by a diving defender.
The ball spilled to the waiting Andrew Murnin, who was on hand to raise the only green flag of the night.
Kildare remained in contention and a trio of points from Jimmy Hyland and Woodgate (2) left it all square for the third time.
A Rian O’Neill free ended the action for the opening half and put Armagh’s noses in front. 1-4 to 0-6.
A Rory Grugan brace along with Jarly Og Burns’ first saw Armagh three ahead, cancelling out Hyland’s response.
Hyland (free) exchanged scores with the superb Stefan Campbell while Rian O’Neill did likewise with Darragh Kirwin.
Hyland and ‘Soupy’ continued to cancel each other out while a Jason Duffy mark left Armagh four ahead.
Like the first half, O’Neill ended the scoring for the second to give Armagh a comfortable five-point margin.
It’s Kerry next for the Orchard and with their status secured, a league final appearance will now be the target.