Derry 0-16 Armagh 0-16

Updated: Saturday, 09 Mar 2013 22:09 | Comments

Derry's Emmet McGuckin and Armagh goalkeeper Philip McEvoy
Derry's Emmet McGuckin and Armagh goalkeeper Philip McEvoy

James Kielt scored eight points as Derry played out an entertaining 0-16 to 0-16 draw with Armagh in the Allianz Football League Division 2 at Celtic Park.

The sides were tied on six occasions and although Armagh seized control initially, the hosts constantly hit back.

Kielt pointed four times as Derry led 0-07 to 0-06 at half-time.

Armagh enjoyed a purple patch but Derry rattled off the scores to lead by the minimum late on. However, Jamie Clarke’s third point salvaged a draw for the Orchard men.

Derry manager Brian McIver expected to field the same team that had beaten Wexford by nine points in a re-fixed encounter last weekend at Wexford Park.

However, he was forced to make a late change with Barry McGoldrick withdrawing after sustaining a hamstring injury in the warm-up. Magherafelt's Danny Heavron replaced the Coleraine man in the Oak Leafers' half-forward line.

Armagh were in rampant form in the opening stages and held a 0-04 to 0-00 lead after 15 minutes, with all of their early scores coming from play.

Aaron Kernan fired an early wide before Gavin McParland opened the visitors' account with a point after 54 seconds. Clarke and Kevin Dyas followed up with quick scores as Armagh claimed a 0-03 to 0-00 lead after just five minutes.

Paul Grimley's side continued to cause the Derry defence huge problems, with goalkeeper Thomas Mallon pulling off a sixth minute save after a rasping shot from Clarke.

Derry's first two attacks failed to yield a score and they fired three wides between the ninth and 14th minutes. A second McParland point pushed Armagh 0-04 to 0-00 ahead after 15 minutes, but suddenly Derry bounced back.

The hosts rattled off four unanswered points; with Charlie Kielt, Emmett McGuckin, Lee Kennedy and James Kielt all on target to ring their side level after 22 minutes.

Kernan pushed Armagh back in front with his first score from a free, while Derry were once again wasteful in front of the posts.

McIver's men brought their wides tally to seven by the interval, but also managed seven points with Kielt their leading light as they took a 0-07 to 0-06 half-time lead.

Armagh moved back in front on the resumption with a trio of unanswered scores inside two-and-a-half minutes - Stefan Forker, Kernan and Stephen Harold registering them.

Derry cut the gap with another Kielt point, but Armagh continued to look good as Kernan, Forker and Declan McKenna helped them lead by 0-12 to 0-08 by the 46th minute.

Derry hung onto their coat tails with Kielt continuing to impress in attack. Lee Kennedy helped cut the gap to the minimum with 15 minutes left on the clock.

Armagh answered back with their first score in 11 minutes through substitute Anto Duffy, ensuring that nine Orchard men were on target on the night and more importantly opening up a two-point gap.

Hanratty missed out on a goal soon after with Mallon pulling off a fine save, but Armagh did move 0-14 to 0-11 ahead with 12 minutes left thanks to McParland's third point.

Derry showed their resilience with captain Mark Lynch leading by example. They nosed in front - 0-15 to 0-14 - with nine minutes remaining following four unanswered scores.

Clarke equalised from a well-struck free on the right wing, but Derry snuck ahead once again following an eighth Kielt point. Clarke then squared things up for the sixth time with two minutes of normal time remaining.

Derry had two chances to steal victory in injury-time, however Kielt was inches wide with a snap effort and Lynch also missed the target from a last-gasp free.

Derry scorers: J Kielt 0-08 (0-05f), L Kennedy 0-03, C Kielt, E McGuckin, M Lynch, D Heavron, E Lynn 0-01 each
Armagh scorers: G McParland, J Clarke (0-01f), A Kernan (0-03f) 0-03 each, S Forker 0-02, K Dyas, J Hanratty, S Harold, D McKenna, A Duffy 0-01 each

Derry: T Mallon; G O'Kane, C McKaigue, D McBride; C Kielt, M Lynch, S L McGoldrick; Patsy Bradley, PJ McCloskey; D Heavron, J Kielt, E Lynn; B Heron, E McGuckin, L Kennedy.
Subs: R Wilkinson for McGuckin (55 mins), C McFaul for Heron (60).

Armagh: P McEvoy; J Morgan, J Donnelly, D McKenna; A Kernan, B Donaughy, C McKeever; J Lavery, S Harold; K Dyas, J Hanratty, C Rafferty; J Clarke, S Forker, G McParland.
Subs: M Shields for Morgan (43 mins), G McCoey for Donnelly (44), A Duffy for McKeever (49), T Kernan for Hanratty (59), B Mallon for A Kernan (64).

Referee: Fergal Kelly (Longford)

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