Division 3 football league: Offaly, Westmeath, Cavan and Down all secure wins

Five second-half points from Bernard Allen sees Offaly beat Fermanagh for second win in a row

Offaly 1-9 Fermanagh 1-8

Five sensational second-half points from substitute Bernard Allen earned Offaly a second league win when they just edged out Fermanagh in Tullamore.

Allen, who left the panel last year after falling out of favour with John Maughan, showed his class as he provided a new focal point for a misfiring attack.

The first half had been a shocking affair, almost bereft of redeeming factors and the 1-1 each half-time score showing how bad it was. Both sides missed a lot, particularly Offaly, with Ruari McNamee scoring the winners’ goal in the seventh minute and Josh Largo Ellis getting Fermanagh’s in the 25th minute.


The second half provided much greater entertainment with a more regular flow of scores. They both would have settled for a draw as it entered injury time but the four minutes were just up when another sub, Cian Farrell got the Offaly winner.

Offaly: I Duffy; C Donnelly, D Hogan, D Dempsey; R Egan, P Cunningham (0-1), L Pearson; J McEvoy, C McNamee; J Maher, Ruari McNamee (1-0), Bill Carroll (0-1); N Dunne, A Sullivan (0-1), D Hyland. Subs – B Allen (0-5) for Maher (42m), C Farrell (0-1) for Dunne (55m), J Bryant for R McNamee (62m), L Egan for Carroll (71m),

Fermanagh: S McNally; L Flanagan, G Cavanagh, C McManus; R McCaffrey, J Cassidy, S McGullion; R Jones (0-2), B Horan; J Largo Ellis (1-0), R Lyons (0-1), D McGurn; Sean Cassidy, U Kelm (0-1), S Quigley (0-1, f). Subs – T McCaffrey for Cassidy (HT), G Jones (0-3, 1m) for McGurn (45m), D McCusker for Cavanagh (52m), C Corrigan for Kelm (62m),

Referee: T Murphy (Galway).

Cavan 1-19 Tipperary 1-7

A superb second-quarter, during which they outscored the opposition by 1-8 to 0-1, was the platform on which Cavan built this comfortable home win.

The Breffni men have tended with Tipperary in modern times, losing to them in the group last season and just about holding on for a one-point win in the Division 4 final, but despite trailing by four early on, the hosts were never really in danger.

Three first-half point from the excellent Dara McVeety and a poacher’s goal from Ryan O’Neill helped Mickey Graham’s men into a 1-10 to 1-4 half-time lead, with Sean O’Connor rattling the net for Tipp and Jack Kennedy’s placekicking impeccable.

The tempo dropped in the second half but Cavan pulled away as the finish line approached, with Oisin Brady again impressive alongside defender Niall Carolan.

Both sides were without several established players, with Tipp sorely missing captain Conor Sweeney, who suffered the dreaded ACL tear last time out.

Cavan: R Galligan (0-1, 45), E Finnegan, P Faulkner, N Carolan (0-1), Ciaran Brady, D McVeety (0-3), T Madden (0-1), D Brady, K Clarke, O Kiernan, Cian Madden, J McCabe, M Reilly (0-1), R O’Neill (1-2, 1m), O Brady (0-7, 4f, 1m) Subs: R Donohoe for D Brady (45), P Lynch (0-1) for M Reilly (52), B Boylan (0-2) for J McCabe (58), C Moynagh for C Brady (62), Conor Madden for R O’Neill (66)

Tipperary: M O’Reilly, S O’Connell, J Feehan, D Carew, K Fahey, C O’Shaughnessy, E Moloney, C Deely, J Kennedy (0-5, 4f, 45), M Russell, M O’Shea (0-1), T Doyle, L McGrath, S O’Brien, S O’Connor (1-1, 1m) Subs: C Cadell for M O’Shea (temp, ht), L Boland for S O’Brien (temp, 45), W Eviston for C Deely (55), C Kennedy for C O’Shaughnessy, M Stokes for L McGrath, Paul Maher for S O’Connor (all 59), Tommy Maher for Russell (68)

Referee: B Judge (Sligo)

Longford 0-09 Westmeath 4-16

A dominant second half display saw Westmeath comprehensively defeat their neighbours Longford and leave them rooted to the bottom of Division 3 with two defeats from two.

Trailing by one point at the break the Lake County turned on the style in the second half with four goals. Longford only scored one point in that half through Darren Gallagher.

Playing with a strong breeze Longford kicked over five points in a row midway through the first half to open up a four-point lead in the 32nd minute. Three of those were excellent scores from Dessie Reynolds.

Westmeath were back in the game at half-time with points from John Heslin (free), Lorcan Dolan and a superb Senan Baker effort. The deficit was just two points.

The second half belonged to Westmeath as they completely dominated Longford. They got their first goal in the 43rd minute through Luke Loughlin. The second came from Lorcan Dolan, Heslin got a third in the 66th minute and right at the end Sam McCartin grabbed a fourth.

Longford ended the game with 13 players; David McGivney and Andrew Farrell both received yellow and black cards.

Longford: P Collum; P Fox, A Farrell, PJ Masterson; R Moffett, G Rogers, I O’Sullivan; D Gallagher (0-1), F Sheridan; M Quinn, D Mimnagh (0-1), K McGann; J Hagan (0-1), D McGivney (0-2,1f), D Reynolds (0-4,1m)

Subs: R Brady for McGann, P Lynn for Rogers and J Macken for Sheriday (53mins), P Foy for Mimnagh (65mins)

Westmeath: J Daly; D Scahill, K Maguire, S Baker (0-1); N Harte (0-1), R Wallace, J Dolan; S McCartan (1-1), C McCormack (0-2); S Duncan, R O’Toole (0-1), R Connellan (0-1); L Dolan (1-1), J Heslin (1-5,5f), L Loughlin (1-1).

Subs: S Smith (0-2) for L Dolan (58mins), K Martin for Baker (61mins), C Dillon for J Dolan (62mins), A McCormack for Duncan and S Dempsey for Loughlin (68mins)

Referee: N McKenna (Monaghan)

Down 2-18 Antrim 2-17

Conor Laverty’s Down edged winless Antrim late in this rousing Division 3 clash at Pairc Elser by the minimum but Laverty’s reign is already an era defined by a willingness to go for goals.

Ironically, not in the manner of the manager as a player, the decisive late leveller from substitute Conor Poland was a traditional long ball scrambled home but the intent was there.

Down’s Pat Havern and Andrew Gilmore landed the winning scores with impressive Antrim sub Dominic McEnhill pointing his third to leave the minimum between the sides in the finish.

Gilmore more than repaid the faith his manager showed in him after starring in Thurles the week previous with his first start of the league. His goal in the first half was in his manager’s fashion and importantly squeezed in between a brace of goals from Aghagallon’s Ruairí McCann. Those majors looked to have laid the foundations for Andy McEntee’s men to deservedly take something from the game but Down thought otherwise.

Down: N Kane (0-1, 45′); P Laverty, R McEvoy, P McCarthy; C Francis, R Magill, M Rooney; N Donnelly, O Murdock (0-3); C Doherty, D McAleenan, L Kerr (0-3); A Gilmore (1-4, 2frees), P Havern (0-2), B O’Hagan (0-3, 1free). Subs: E Brown (0-1) for O’Hagan (39), M Walsh for Doherty (45), S Miller (0-1) for Rooney (48), C Poland (1-0) for Donnelly (48).

Antrim: M Byrne (0-2, free ‘45); P Healy, D Lynch, J McAuley (0-1); D McAleese, J Finnegan (0-1), M Jordan; K Small, C Stewart (0-3); P Finnegan (0-2), A Loughran (0-1), Ruairí McCann (0-1, free); R Murray (0-2, 1 free), Ruairí McCann (Aghagallon, 2-1 m), P Shivers. Subs: S O’Neill for McAleese (6), D McEnhill (0-03, 1mark) for Shivers (32), C McLarnon for Small (ht), O Eastwood for Murray (57), P McCormick for Healy (62).