Monaghan fall at the first hurdle

 

Football round-up: A season that promised so much began in hugely disappointing fashion for Monaghan as they were soundly beaten in Brewster Park. Not that Malachy O'Rourke and his Fermanagh team will care a whit.

Fermanagh ran out 2-8 to 0-10 winners as they seek a first ever Anglo-Celt Cup and were fully deserving of their place in the next round.

Stout in defence, Fermanagh limited Monaghan to just four points in the opening half with the normally effervescent Tommy Freeman relegated to the role of a bit-part.

In contrast, the home side made better use of their scoring opportunities, the highlight arriving when Liam McBarron pounced to slap home from close range after the ball came back off an upright.

Monaghan, considered dark horses for the Ulster championship coming into the match, did fight back after the interval with Freeman and Paul Finlay helping close the gap to just one point.

But when Ciaran McElroy took advantage of some hesitancy in the Monaghan defence to notch his side's second goal there was no way back for the visitors.

And the match ended on a sour note for Séamus McEnaney's side when Gary McQuaid was shown a straight red-card for a blatant punch on Shane McCabe.

Meanwhile, in the opening round of the Munster championship Clare booked a semi-final meeting with All-Ireland champions Kerry with a 0-9 to 0-7 win over Waterford.

Limerick also advanced to the last four, where they will be Cork, as they edged out Tipperary 1-8 to 1-5 in Fermoy.

Sligo began the defence of their Connacht title with a 2-17 to 0-7 win over London in Ruislip.