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GAA Roundup: Galway knock Tyrone from unbeaten ranks

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Mark Jones Two unbeaten National Football League records were on the line in Ballinasloe, so something had to give, and it was Galway who moved to the top of Div. 1A with a 0-18 to 1-13 victory over Tyrone. Accustomed to so many dour tussles at this time of year, the attendance was treated to a minor classic as both counties produced some irresistible attacking play. For Galway, Michael Donnellan offered further glimpses of his genius as he surged out of midfield to spray a variety of glorious passes toward his attacking colleagues. He might only have contributed a points to the winners’ total, but for skill and workrate there was no one to touch him on the pitch. Then for Tyrone there was Peter Canavan, whose artistry caused several moments of panic in the Galway rearguard, and the highly promising Kevin Hughes, who started as a replacement for the injured Stephen O’Neill. "Any mistakes we made they punished, but it was a fantastic game," said Tyrone’s manager, Art McRory. "We’d be happy to meet them again in the League final." The victory puts Galway a point clear of Tyrone after four games and both counties are now looking good bets for the knockout stages. "We upped it slightly in the second-half against the wind," offered Galway’s John O’Mahony. "That made the difference. We’re happy, but this young Tyrone side has a lot to look forward to."Roscommon 0-11, Kerry 1-5 All-Ireland champions Kerry are facing relegation from the top flight after a third League defeat in a row. This time it was Roscommon, who inflicted the damage at Dr Hyde Park, where the home team failed to score for a 42-minute spell and still they were too good for Paidi O Se’s charges. Kerry came back into the contest during Roscommon’s drought and eventually Mike Frank Russell leveled matters midway through the second half. It looked as if Kerry would end their poor run of results, but instead Francie Grehan put Roscommon ahead once again and a couple of late points by Stephen Lohan and Nigel Dineen sealed the Kingdom’s fate.Dublin 0-11, Donegal 0-8 Dublin moved themselves out of the relegation mire with a battling win over Donegal at Ballyshannon. Under pressure after two defeats, Dublin celebrated this result as if it was the final itself. "It wasn’t the points — relegation didn’t really enter the equation," said Dessie Farrell. "It was the test of character that was important." That test was made all the more difficult given that the Dubs had to play the last 50 minutes without Darren Homan, who was sent off for a high tackle on Martin Coll. And in the end, Donegal let their chance slip as they failed to capitalize. "We lost our shape all over the pitch," lamented manager Mickey Moran.Offaly 0-12, Louth 0-12 There was stalemate in Drogheda where an injury-time point by Mel Keenaghan earned Offaly a draw with Louth. The home team were left to ponder a host of missed opportunities both during the first half and in the closing stages. Mark Stanfield did manage an impressive 0-7 total, but it wasn’t enough as Louth blew their chance to move up the table.Mayo 1-5, Sligo 0-8 At the top of Div. 1B, Mayo and Sligo were looking to move clear, but the trend of drawn games continued and the two couldn’t be separated at Markievicz Park. Both are now level on seven points, three clear of Cavan in third place. However, Mayo should have done better, given that Sligo had full-back Mark Cosgrove red-carded coming up to halftime. Despite being a man down, Sligo had the edge, and when Peter Taylor converted a penalty midway through the second half, they were on course for victory. But even though Mayo’s Pat Coyne was then sent off, Maurice Sheridan had time to kick the equalizing point.Meath 0-8, Derry 0-8 Surprise, surprise, Meath and Derry were deadlocked, a result which means that it’s now 20 years since Meath beat the Ulster county in a League game at Navan. The draw did nobody any favors and the home team were left regretting a missed chance in the closing seconds when Graham Geraghty bore down on goal only to shoot lamentably wide. Yet Geraghty had been one of Meath’s better performers as he engaged in a fascinating duel with Derry full-back Kevin McCloy. After a poor display a fortnight ago, the full-forward was back close to his best and it took important contributions from the impressive Paul McFlynn and Anthony Tohill to keep Derry in the hunt.Fermanagh 2-6, Cavan 1-8 Fermanagh signaled their challenge for the playoffs with a surprise 2-6 to 1-8 win over Cavan at Kingscourt. Two goals in the early stages by Kieran Donnelly and Raymond Gallagher set Fermanagh on their way, while a total of 16 wides was the root cause of Cavan’s demise.Laois 0-9, Clare 1-6 There was yet another draw between Clare and Laois at Cusack Park, which leaves both counties in relegation trouble. Laois substitute Padraig Langton scored the all-important point seconds before the finish to make it 0-9 to 1-6 after Clare had failed to build on an early goal by Denis Molohan.Div. 2A Cork and Westmeath continue to battle it out for supremacy in Div. 2A. Both counties are on maximum points after four games with Cork registering a comfortable 1-17 to 1-6 victory over Wicklow at Pairc Ui Rinn, while Westmeath were too good for Leitrim by 0-19 to 0-10 at Carrick-on-Shannon. Armagh defeated Limerick by 2-12 to 0-10 and Antrim were 3-17 to 0-2 winners against London.Div. 2B In Div. 2B, Down became the first county to reach the semifinals when they got the better of Carlow by 1-10 to 0-9 at Dr Cullen Park. Kildare’s late burst of scoring saw them through to a 1-13 to 1-8 win against Wexford in Newbridge, Longford beat Tipperary 2-11 to 1-13 and Monaghan accounted for Waterford by 1-14 to 0-6.HurlingCork 1-10, Kilkenny 0-12 A limited program in the National Hurling League saw Cork maintain their 100 percent record in Div. 1B after two matches with a narrow victory over All-Ireland champions Kilkenny at Pairc Ui Chaoimh last Saturday. The contest was heading for a draw when dual star, Sean Og O hAilpin, fired over the winning point from 50 yards. With D.J. Carey struggling to make an impact at midfield, it was left to Henry Shefflin, 0-5, and to Stephen Grehan, three points from play, to keep Kilkenny in the hunt. Seanie McGrath scored the only goal to give new coach, Tom Cashman, a timely boost.Waterford 3-13, Wexford 0-13 Waterford kept their challenge alive with an impressive victory over Wexford at Gorey. Paul Flynn made his point to manager Gerald McCarthy in emphatic style when starting his first League game of the season. Flynn hit 1-5, while his forward partner, Seamus Prendergast, fired in two goals. As for Wexford, this was a hugely disappointing display. Lacking in both urgency and confidence, their case wasn’t helped when center-back Darragh Ryan was sent off 15 minutes from the end. "Our forward line was totally out of it," said manager Tony Dempsey. "It leaves us with much food for thought."Other Games In Div. 2, Kerry are still on course for promotion following an easy 5-17 to 0-4 triumph over hapless London, and in Div. 3, Sligo were 1-13 to 0-8 winners against Mayo.

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