HomeFootballThe six previous Armagh v Kerry championship clashes

The six previous Armagh v Kerry championship clashes

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1953: Kerry 0-13 Armagh 1-6 (All-Ireland final)

Having just picked up their fourth ever Ulster title, Armagh contested the All-Ireland final for the first time in their history in 1953 and set up a first ever championship encounter with Kerry. Armagh had their noses ahead when the half time whistle sounded as a Mal McEvoy goal gave the Orchard County a slender 1-3 to 0-5 advantage. Kerry, chasing their 17 All-Ireland crown and their first since 1946, proved much the stronger side when the teams swapped ends and they marched towards the Sam Maguire with an impressive second half display. Kerry’s revival was aided by a missed penalty from Armagh’s Bill McCorry while the accuracy in front of the posts from Tadgh Lyne, who finished as top scorer with a personal haul of 0-6, helped the Kingdom over the line.

1982: Armagh 1-11 Kerry 3-15 (All-Ireland semi-final)

Taking on Mick O’Dwyer’s team in the heights of the Kerry golden years was no mean feat and this particular Kerry side were chasing immortality in 1982 and a never before achieved five-in-a-row of All-Ireland titles. Armagh, who reached the All-Ireland final in 1977 but lost out heavily to Dublin, had just collected their third Ulster title in six seasons and were worthy challengers to Kerry’s vice-like grip on the Sam Maguire trophy. O’Dwyer’s side stormed into a five-point lead by the half time break, with Mickey Sheehy and future Armagh boss Joe Kernan (who finished the game with 1-3) rattling the net for their teams, leaving the score 1-10 to 1-5. The Kingdom buried another two majors after the turnaround through sharpshooters Eoin ‘Bomber’ Liston and John Egan to secure their spot in the All-Ireland final, where Offaly would famously upset the odds and halt the drive for five thanks to a late Seamus Darby goal.

2000: Kerry 2-11 Armagh 2-11 (All-Ireland semi-final)

In the first of two championship meetings in 2000, Armagh and Kerry couldn’t be separated and had to do it all over again to decide a winner. Armagh were vying for their first ever victory over in the Kingdom in championship football, but their attempt didn’t get off to a great start as Kerry raced into a 1-3 to 0-0 lead after just six minutes, with Dara O’Cinneide bagging an early goal from the penalty spot. Armagh, managed by Brian McAlinden and Brian Canavan, pulled themselves back into the contest thanks to a Barry O’Hagan goal and trailed 1-7 to 1-5 at half time. Maurice Fitzgerald and Andrew McCann netted for their teams in the second half and current Armagh boss Kieran McGeeney looked to have clinched a famous win for his side, but Fitzgerald squeezed over an equaliser to earn Kerry a replay.

2000: Kerry 2-15 Armagh 1-15 (All-Ireland semi-final)

Again, these two teams proved almost impossible to separate and extra time was required this time around to finally find a winner. Unlike the first day out, it was Armagh who held the advantage at the break, leading 1-7 to 0-6, with Oisin McConville raising the only green flag of the opening period. John McEntee extended the gap to five early at the start of the second half, but Armagh failed to capitalise on that advantage and failed to score for a further 18 minutes. Kerry got their noses ahead towards the end of the game with a Mike Frank Russell goal but neither team could hold out and extra time was called upon. Kerry rattled off a quickfire 1-2 at the start of extra time, with Russell against finding the net, to make Armagh’s challenge an uphill one and while they battled back to remain in contention, it was Kerry who progressed to the All-Ireland showpiece that September.

2002: Armagh 1-12 Kerry 0-14 (All-Ireland final)

After capturing their first Ulster title in 17-years in 1999, Armagh were relentlessly knocking on the door for a maiden All-Ireland title but in the previous three years before they finally cracked the code 2002, they had been beaten by the eventual All-Ireland champions in Meath (1999), Kerry (2000) and Galway (2001). Things didn’t look like they were about to change at half time of the 2002 All-Ireland final as Kerry charged ahead 0-11 to 0-7, but a now famous motivational team talk from Joe Kernan, when the Orchard boss crashed his 1977 All-Ireland losers medal off the shower wall, inspired Armagh for the second half. Oisin McConville rattled home the only goal of the game, making up for a missed penalty in the first half and he went on to give a Man of the Match performance. Kieran McGeeney was indestructible at centre half back while the whole full forward line of Steven McDonnell, Ronan Clarke and Diarmuid Marsden hit 0-3 apiece, with McDonnell snatching the winner.

2006: Kerry 3-15 Armagh 1-13 (All-Ireland quarter-final)

The last time these two sides clashed in the championship was the 2006 quarter-final, and it probably brought the curtain down on that Armagh team’s attempt of landing a second All-Ireland crown. Joe Kernan’s men led by two at the break, 1-7 to 1-5, with Steven McDonnell and Eoin Brosnan netting for their respective counties, while Kerry were struggling to get to grips with the inside threat of McDonnell and Ronan Clarke. But Kerry were a different beast in the second half, led by the O’Se brothers, and further three-pointers from a certain Kieran Donaghy, who enjoyed an intriguing tussle with Armagh icon Francie Bellew on the edge of the square and is now a selector in Kieran McGeeney’s management team, and Darren O’Sullivan help Kerry to a deserved eight-point win. Jack O’Connor was the manager of the Kingdom at that time as well and his side went on to capture the Sam Maguire Cup by the end of the season.

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