By Mark Jones
Mayo 0-18, Meath 0-12
Mayo’s impressive form at Ballina is surely a pointer for the provincial championship.
Meath had contributed to their downfall with Paddy Reynolds being sent off for a challenge on David Brady and with Graham Geraghty missing a penalty.
Trevor Mortimer, Marty McNicholas, James Gill and Ronan Loftus each scored four points for the winners, while midfielders Colm McManamon and Brady also had their moments. Geraghty also had four points for Meath, who are in danger of relegation with just three points in Div. 1B from six games.
Sligo 0-13, Laois 0-7
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Sligo’s chances of making the playoffs were given a boost at Portlaoise. Four superb points from play by John McPartland and Paul Taylor were the catalyst for an 0-8 to 0-4 interval lead, and when Laois’s Michael Lawlor was sent off following a dispute with one of the linesmen in the second half, Sligo were on course for a valuable win.
Derry 3-16, Cavan 2-11
Cavan’s hopes of challenging in the knockout stages were dealt a fatal blow when they were well beaten at Ballinascreen. Enda Muldoon and Anthony Tohill turned in excellent performances for the winners. Dermot Heaney, Patrick Bradley and Dermot Dougan scored the goals, all set up by Muldoon, who also contributed four points.
Fermanagh 0-14, Clare 1-9
Fermanagh staved off the threat of relegation at Brewster Park. Ahead by six points early in the second half, Fermanagh appeared to be cruising to, but a fisted goal by Peader McMahon lifted Clare and with time running out, the Munster had moved two points clear. However, Fermanagh responded to level tie it and Ciaran Donnelly and Rory Gallagher than supplied the winning points.
Dublin 1-10, Galway 1-8
High-flying Galway had an opportunity to secure a semifinal place, but Dublin showed enough resolve to upset the formbook at Parnell Park. Late points by substitutes Declan Darcy and Wayne McCarthy saw Dublin through in a dramatic finish and the result means that Tom Carr’s side could now avoid relegation.
Roscommon 2-8, Offaly 1-11
Roscommon kept their hopes of making the playoffs alive when a late Francie Grehan point secured a draw in Tullamore. Offaly looked to have the game wrapped up when Vinny Claffey converted a free, before Grehan took center stage to hammer over a magnificent point from 50 yards.
The top-of-the-table clash in Div. 2 was won by Westmeath, who upset Cork’s previously unbeaten run with a 0-17 to 0-10 result in Mullingar.
In Div. 2B, Down saw their lead reduced to one point when they could only manage a 1-10 apiece draw with Tipperary, while second placed Longford got the better of Monaghan by 1-11 to 0-11. Kildare moved into third with an easy 0-14 to 1-4 win over Waterford.