Armagh pip Laois, Tyrone dominant

 

Armagh recorded their second victory on the bounce with a gutsy win on the road against Laois in Portlaoise today.  Tyrone, meanwhile, extended their unbeaten run with an easy win at home to Offaly.

Both Laois and Armagh served up a high quality game in which the tempo never relented.  At the end of a high scoring contest Armagh emerged victorious by just two points.

Laois started the better and held a five point lead until goalkeeper Fergal Byron was dismissed for pulling down Ronan Clarke in the area.  Oisin McConville converted the penalty.

McConville then added a second goal at the end of the half, capitalising on sloppy Laois defending to force home a high dropping ball from close range.

The second half was a ding-dong affair with the ball zipping from one end of the pitch to the other. 

Both sides traded points in a dramatic finish but Armagh edged ahead when Clarke pointed in the 35th minute. 

Laois were given a lifeline and an opportunity to equalise when the referee signalled eight minutes of injury-time but in the end they could find no way past a resolute Armagh defence.

Steven McDonnell ensured the points would travel north with an injury-time goal and Chris Conway's two late points were just that - too little, too late.

Division 1A leaders Tyrone made it three wins from three with a comfortable nine point win over Offaly at Healy Park.

Stephen O'Neill was the shining light for the home side, registering five scores from play.    Ciaran McManus, Mark Daly and James Coughlan pointed for Offaly but Tyrone led 0-9 to 0-5 at half-time.

The second half was very much one way traffic for the 2003 All-Ireland winners. O'Neill, Brian Dooher, Sean Cavanagh and Ryan Mellon all excelled.

The only sour note on an otherwise perfect afternoon for Tyrone manager Mickey Harte was the straight red card for Conor Gormley.

Elsewhere, Dessie Dolan inspired Westmeath to a one point victory over Donegal in Mullingar.  The defeat leaves Donegal bottom of 1A with no points.

(Full and comprehensive reports on all today's matches to follow)

NFL Division 1A
Tyrone 0-18 Offaly 0-9
Westmeath 1-12 Donegal 1-11
Mayo 0-14 Cork 0-11
Kerry 2-13 Dublin 2-11 (played Saturday)

NFL Division 1B
Down 0-9 Kildare 1-17
Galway 4-16 Sligo 0-7
Laois 0-17 Armagh 3-10
Wexford 3-15 Limerick 1-11

NFL Division 2A
Longford 1-19 Carlow 0-9
Monaghan 0-13 Fermanagh 2-13
Roscommon 1-23 London 0-5
Leitrim 1-12 Clare 1-11

NFL Division 2B
Antrim 4-17 Waterford 0-9
Wicklow 1-11 Louth 0-14
Tipperary 1-7 Meath 0-14
Derry 2-16 Cavan 0-10

(For tables, click through to the National League section in our GAA site)