On this day, Jamie Clarke announced his arrival on the inter-county scene with a crucial goal which proved the difference as Armagh beat Derry in their Ulster SFC opener at Celtic Park - The Crossmaglen clubman was sprung from the bench by manager Paddy O'Rourke and made no mistake from a Steven McDonnell delivery.
The day was May 16, 2010
The score? Armagh 1-10 Derry 1-7
May 16, 2010
Ulster SFC: Armagh down dismal Derry
Derry are the first team out of the Ulster championship after losing to Armagh by 1-10 to 1-7 at Celtic Park.
A fractious match yielded just five scores in the second half and it was a 56th-minute goal from Orchard County substitute Jamie Clarke that separated the teams at the final whistle.
The sides were level at the end of a scrappy first half: Derry 1-5, Armagh 0-8. Paddy Bradley got the goal for Derry and was one of only two first-half scorers for the Derry men with 1-2. Mark Lynch registered their other three scores before the break.
It was a similar story for Armagh, who relied on Aaron Kernan (0-3) and Steven McDonnell (0-5) for all their first-half points, including three late efforts from McDonnell to tie it up at the short whistle.
Barry Gillis made a good save to deny Brian Mallon a goal inside the opening seconds and centre forward Lynch fired Derry ahead with a marvellous point in the second minute. Kevin McGuckin's off-the-ball foul on Ryan Henderson presented Steven McDonnell with a great chance to level the scores from a free in front of the posts in the fourth minute and the Killeavy marksman made no mistake, 0-1 each.
Eoin Bradley bought a free off Andy Mallon and Paddy Bradley popped over a simple free to put the hosts back in front with seven minutes played. Amid a flurry of frees and technical fouls, it was obvious early on that the players were somewhat confused by the constant tinkering with the rules. Another soft free to Armagh culminated with Aaron Kernan kicking wide via the outside of a post off his normally-trusty left boot.
Eoin Bradley boomed a shot badly wide from an outrageous angle as his attempt for point of the season went miles awry and McGuckin's timely foul on the raiding Finian Moriarty crudely halted the Orchard County's next attack, momentarily snuffing out the danger. The Derry full back saw yellow and Aaron Kernan flicked the free between the posts to level the scores again.
Paddy Bradley edged the hosts back in front in the 15th minute when the referee awarded a ridiculous free in their favour. Stevie McDonnell and Dermot McBride both went into the book for something that happened off the ball and Paddy Bradley's next free from the hands curled close but rebounded off a post. At the end of the first quarter, Derry led by 0-3 to 0-2.
Lynch was on hand to restore the Oak Leafers' lead after Kernan had first dropped a free short into Gillis' hands and then knocked over a free; and it was the Armagh No.11 who again found the equalising score - this time a rare right-footed strike from open play.
Armagh's Charlie Vernon collides with the boot of Derry's Gerard O'Kane. ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy.
Damian Cassidy was forced into a change in the 24th minute, bringing Barry McGoldrick on for injured centre back Barry McGuigan. Gareth Swift hit a couple of Armagh wides and the visitors had a call for a penalty in between when James Lavery went to ground after collecting a lovely pass from Charlie Vernon - but there was nothing doing.
Just shy of the half hour, Derry scored a superb goal. Pasty Bradley initiated the move with a thundering tackle out the field. Lynch then went on a raiding run, piercing through the heart of the Armagh rearguard and picking out Fergal Doherty, whose first-time pass across the face of goal was flicked to the net by the diving Paddy Bradley: 1-4 to 0-4.
Three minutes from the break, McDonnell curled over a sumptuous free from off the ground out on the left touchline - a quality finish but Derry had every reason to feel aggrieved as the free could have gone either way. Within seconds, Lynch's second converted free flew over the bar to restore the home side's three-point cushion.
Vincent Martin replaced Lavery in the Armagh midfield and McDonnell stroked over another nice free before tapping over a lovely score from play on the run off his left boot to leave just a point between the teams on the stroke of half time, 1-5 to 0-7.
McDonnell thumped over a 48-metre free in the third minute of added time, leaving the sides level at the break.
Two minutes after the restart, an excellent Charlie Vernon point had Armagh ahead for the first time. Vernon won the ball himself around midfield and fended off Doherty as he powered forward for a strong point. Ryan Henderson almost increased the gap but his shot struck a post before a dangerous Derry attack - with Raymond Wilkinson prominent - came to nothing.
Swift recorded Armagh's sixth wide in the 42nd minute and Henderson booted over his first-ever championship point a minute later to send Paddy O'Rourke's charges two clear, 0-10 to 1-5. Overly-fussy and oftentimes poor refereeing continued to spoil the game as any kind of spectacle … not that the players were covering themselves in glory either.
On the 45-minute mark, Eoin Bradley gave Derry renewed hope with an inspirational solo score and Paddy Bradley uncharacteristically missed a chance to equalise three minutes later. Jamie Clarke and James Kielt entered the fray for either side.
Undisciplined Armagh defending gifted Derry a cheap free but Paddy Bradley dropped a tame shot into the arms of Paul Hearty. There had been only three points in the third quarter and the match had descended into a farce with nobody sure when the next seemingly-random free would be awarded.
The Derry players stand for the national anthem. ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy.
Eoin Bradley had been booked just before the break and the roaming Derry full forward received his marching orders in the 55th minute for a second yellow-card offence, tugging at Kernan's shoulder. Within a minute, Crossmaglen clubman Jamie Clarke announced his arrival and marked his championship debut with a ruthless goal. The big sub got under a high delivery from McDonnell and planted a deadly shot into the bottom right corner of the net.
Ciaran McKeever was harshly shown a yellow card after an overreaction to what had looked like a strong but fair shoulder. Sean Leo McGoldrick and Fergal Doherty both missed the target as Derry trailed by four points with ten minutes remaining.
Derry lost Fergal Doherty to a muscle pull, replaced by Joe Diver, but they were handed a potential lifeline with five minutes left when Finian Moriarty caught the ball but was adjudged to have fouled his man as he did so. It was a very harsh call against the 15 men but justice was done as Hearty (who advanced a few feet off his line) saved Gerard O'Kane's kick.
As time ticked away, Derry could find no way past Armagh's blanket defence and the introduction of Enda Muldoon in injury time was no more than a token gesture. Lynch tapped over a free deep into added time but the losers could have no complaints whatsoever as they managed to score just two points in the second half.
Armagh: P Hearty; A Mallon, K Toner, B Donaghy; P Duffy, C McKeever, F Moriarty; C Vernon (0-1), J Lavery; M Mackin, A Kernan (0-3), G Swift; B Mallon, S McDonnell (0-5), R Henderson (0-1). Subs: V Martin, J Clarke (1-0), K Dyas.
Derry: B Gillis; B Og McAlary, K McGuckin, D McBride; G O'Kane, B McGuigan, M Bateson; F Doherty, Patsy Bradley; SL McGoldrick, M Lynch (0-4), D Mullan; Paddy Bradley (1-2), E Bradley (0-1), R Wilkinson. Subs: B McGoldrick, J Kielt, M Craig, J Diver, E Muldoon.