Tyrone certainly wouldn’t have traveled to Kerry as favorites, but a storming first-half performance in Killarney, from which they emerged with a 6-point advantage, set them up for an important 1-13 to 0-14 victory. Even though they were playing into the breeze, the Ulster county dominated the opening stages thanks mainly to the impressive form of Owen Mulligan and Stephen O’Neill.
If their goal, when Tom O’Sullivan could only deflect Peter Canavan’s shot into his own net, was fortunate, Tyrone fully deserved their lead as the home side’s defense struggled to cope. However, Kerry improved considerably after the break with Darragh O Se’s high fielding a feature, but they never managed to close the gap to less than three points. Tyrone now take on Cork in their next game with the winners sure of advancing to the semifinals.
CORK 3-8, DONEGAL 0-10
Cork had it far easier against relegated Donegal under the lights at Pairc Ui Rinn as they strolled to a fourth success of the campaign. With Colin Corkery back from club duty with Nemo Rangers, the winners were always in control they registered goals either side of half time through Eoin Sexton and Brendan Jer O’Sullivan, and Corkery finished the job when he fisted the ball home for a third goal just before full-time.
GALWAY 1-17, ARMAGH 1-14
There were contrasting fortunes for both teams as Galway ran out deserved winners over Armagh at Crossmaglen. The result means that Galway have eased their relegation worries with six points from six games, while the All-Ireland champions still have to battle for a semifinal place.
Even without Michael Donnellan, whose comeback is still a month away following surgery, and despite the loss of Ja Fallon with a shoulder injury at the changeover, Galway’s attack was invariably too sharp for their opponents as Padraic Joyce and Matthew Clancy made their marks.
Armagh rallied after a sluggish start to draw level, 0-8 apiece, at the interval, however, a penalty by Derek Savage and some inspired midfield play from Joe Bergin saw Galway draw clear. A ban on alcohol at defender John Divilly’s wedding two days before the game appeared to have paid off.
DUBLIN 0-17, ROSCOMMON 0-14
Both Dublin and Roscommon are still in relegation difficulties after the Dubs came away from Hyde Park with a victory. With Paddy Christie and Colin Moran outstanding in defense, Dublin were dominant for much of the game as Ciaran Whelan and Senan Connell also left deep imprints on the proceedings.
At one stage, the gap was as wide as 7 points. However, in the final quarter Dublin owed much to the vigilance of goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton as Roscommon upped the tempo. Cluxton made two magnificent saves from Frankie Dolan, while Moran timed his tackle superbly as Roscommon sub Jonathan Dunning was about to shoot for goal.
LAOIS 4-11, CAVAN 2-17
Laois remain unbeaten at the top of Div. 1B, but Mick O’Dwyer’s charges let last Sunday’s intriguing clash with Cavan at Breffni Park slip. A high scoring 4-11 to 2-17 draw looked the most unlikely of outcomes as Laois were on course for a fifth victory thanks both to a creative attack and to the contributions of their substitutes.
They were three points clear deep into injury time when Cavan’s Mickey Graham was fouled and Peter Reilly struck a perfect penalty to earn his side a draw. Jason Reilly scored two goals, and Larry Reilly netted a third to make it a family affair, while Hughie Emerson and goalkeeper Fergal Byron, who was also on target from the penalty spot, replied for Laois.
FERMANAGH 1-10, SLIGO 0-11
Cavan’s point leaves them one behind Laois, but one ahead of Fermanagh, who defeated Sligo at Markievicz Park, where Tom Brewster kicked 6 points, including five from frees.
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MEATH 1-16, MAYO 0-12
Meath got the better of Mayo by 1-16 to 0-12 in Navan and are now clear of relegation. The winners were never that convincing – Trevor Giles’ goal early in the second half was the county’s first in a competitive game since the All-Ireland qualifier against Laois last July — but they finished strongly as Mayo’s only regular source of points came from Conor Mortimer.
KILDARE 1-16, DOWN 1-11
Kildare’s victory over Down at Newbridge wasn’t enough to ease their relegation worries. With Tadgh Fennin scoring 1-6, Kildare came through with some style as a disappointing Down performance also saw them dragged into the drop zone.
In Div. 2A, Limerick moved to the top with Westmeath when they edged out Louth by 1-14 to 1-12 at Ardee. Westmeath, meanwhile, lost their unbeaten record when they went down by 1-13 to 1-10 against Offaly at Tullamore. Antrim got the verdict by the slimmest margin with a 1-14 to 2-10 result over Wicklow at Aughrim, while Leitrim were too strong for London on a scoreline of 3-12 to 1-7.
Also, Derry are on course for promotion from Division 2B after a comprehensive 3-12 to 1-7 success against Wexford at Celtic Park, but Longford, who defeated Tipperary by 4-18 to 2-11 at Nenagh, are only a point in arrears. It finished 1-19 to 2-10 at Cusack Park, where Monaghan were too good for Clare, and Carlow were easy 0-19 to 1-6 winners over Waterford at Dungarvan.
KILKENNY 2-22, CLARE 1-13
Kilkenny simply once again proved that they remain a cut above the rest as they crushed at Nowlan Park. Clare hustled in the early stages, with Tony Carmody bagging a goal and both Colin Lynch and Jamesie O’Connor seeing plenty of ball at midfield. However, the second half was a master class of Kilkenny attacking. With Henry Shefflin picking off a cool 1-11 and Charlie Carter playing a key role, the scary thought at the end, is that the reigning league and All-Ireland champions can get a lot better.
GALWAY 2-17, WATERFORD 2-13
Galway are still in contention for a place in the second phase of the competition after their victory over Waterford at Pearse Stadium. With both sides reduced to 14 men just before the break when Diarmuid Cloonan and Ken McGrath were shown straight red cards after a midfield scuffle, it was desperately close until the dying minutes when Ollie Fahy hit his second goal for the winners, and then added a point to make the game safe.
LAOIS 3-14, DUBLIN 1-8
Dublin slumped to an embarrassing loss to Laois at Parnell Park following last week’s surprise victory over Waterford. Three goals by substitutes Enda Maher, Michael Dunphy and Fionan O’Sullivan in as many minutes during the final quarter killed off Dublin’s chances of making it two wins in a row.
TIPP 4-19, DERRY 2-14
Unbeaten Tipperary continue to lead the way in Div. 1B, but their triumph over Derry in Dungiven left the Ulster county in a relatively upbeat mood. Derry’s display was surprisingly defiant as Ollie Collins finished with an excellent 1-10, but Eoin Kelly almost matched him with 1-10 to his name, while Eugene O’Neill added two goals.
OFFALU 2-17, CORK 1-17
Offaly moved up to second place alongside Cork when they defeated the Leesiders at Birr. Brian Carroll’s 60th-minute goal proved to be crucial, but Damien Murray added an impressive 1-5.
Limerick’s depressing season continued when they were well beaten by Wexford at Wexford Park. Paul Codd’s eight points and a goal by Chris McGrath set the home team up for a fully deserved 1-14 to 0-8 success which leaves Limerick without a win after four games.
In Div. 2A, Down, Antrim, Westmeath and Kildare are all level on four points after last weekend’s games. Kildare withstood a Roscommon revival to come through by 1-18 to 4-6, while Westmeath ended Antrim’s unbeaten run with a 2-15 to 1-5 win in Mullingar. In Div. 2B, Kerry continue to lead the way with a fourth win in succession, this time by 3-12 to 1-10 over Wicklow, while Meath were convincing 4-16 to 1-12 victors over Longford.
In Div. 3A, Armagh closed the gap on Sligo with a 2-18 to 1-4 win over Leitrim, and Donegal lost at home by 3-10 to 0-15 to Mayo. Monaghan are still going strong in 3B after their 2-12 to 1-8 result against Louth, while Tyrone hammered Fermanagh by 6-23 to 3-10.