Division Two round-up: Fermanagh end 40-year wait in Donegal
Meanwhile, Armagh saw off Tipperary and Kildare beat Clare
Donegal’s Jason McGee challenges for the ball in the air. Photo: Evan Logan/Inpho
Donegal 0-10 Fermanagh 0-13
Rory Gallagher hailed Fermanagh as the Erne claimed a first league win over Donegal in 40 years.
Fermanagh had to come from five points down, but hit back in the second half, as 13-man Donegal lost their way. Fermanagh scored the last six points of the game.
Ciaran Corrigan had them in front for the first time in the 67th minute and they broke Donegal with an industrious second half.
“Satisfied with the battle and naturally the result,” said Gallagher.
“We played with a ferocious level, endeavour, hunger, heart and with a lot of quality in the second half.
“We’re aware that if we don’t bring that level, there’s a gulf in standards.”
It was perhaps no surprise given their recent history that the mercury rose. Referee Padraig Hughes showed 14 yellow, one black and one red card. Five of the yellows alone were flashed for some rather unsightly pulling as the teams waited for the start of the second half.
Fermanagh turned the tables after Stephen McMenamin’s black card in the 59th minute, with Donegal already minus Caolan McGonagle who was sent off for two bookings in the opening 19 minutes.
Sean Quigley and Paul McCusker drew Fernanagh level and they already had a sniff of the win when Corrigan hoisted over to tip the scales.
Donegal, still smarting after a loss to Tipperary in their last game, led 0-8 to 0-4 at half-time, with Jaosn McGee and Michael Langan hitting two points apiece.
Gallagher said: “While Donegal were very good and smart on the ball and creating the openings, I was really disappointing with our own display.
“We were a wee bit in awe of them. We played with the handbrake on, with and without the ball. We got reenergised and we came out and took control of the game. We dug it out.”
DONEGAL: M.A McGinley; S McMenamin, B McCole, E Gallagher (0-1); C Ward, E Doherty, R McHugh; H McFadden, J McGee (0-2); N O’Donnell, C Thompson (0-1), C McGonagle; O Gallen (0-1), M Langan (0-4, 0-4f), J Brennan (0-1).
Subs: P Brennan for McGee (52 mins), E McHugh for Doherty (56), McLoone for Gallen (62), P Mogan for Langan (70+1).
FERMANAGH: T Treacy; J Cassidy, L Cullen, K Connor; U Kelm (0-1), J McMahon, C Corrigan (0-4); C Cullen, R Jones; R Lyons, D McCusker, A Breen (0-2); D Teague, C Jones (0-1), S Quigley (0-4, 0-2f).
Subs: K McDonnell for Teague (32 mins), P McCusker (0-1) for Lyons (44), E McHugh for McDonnell (67), R Lyons for Breen (70+1), T Daly for Cassidy (70+3).
Referee: P Hughes (Armagh).
Armagh 1-15 Tipperary 0-12
Armagh salvaged some hope of making it into the Division Two promotion race by getting the better of Tipperary at the Athletic Grounds.
It was the Orchard County’s first victory in the competition, although their cause was helped considerably by the fact that Tipperary lost the experienced Brian Fox to a red card midway through the first half and did not register a score from play until the 55th minute.
Yet it was the visitors’ inability to retain possession and resist their hosts’ repeated counterattack surges that proved their undoing in the final analysis.
Armagh, in contrast, were cohesive and fluent throughout and had slipped into a 1-6 to 0-3 lead by the 20th minute, their goal coming from Charlie Vernon while Rian O’Neill and Rory Grugan had already served notice of their ability to plunder points.
Liam McGrath and Conor Sweeney landed Tipperary’s points from frees and continued to prove their team’s only source of scores in the third quarter, at the end of which Armagh led by 1-12 to 0-9.
McGrath’s 55th minute point from play prevented what could have proved an extremely embarrassing return for his side and substitute Liam Boland was the only other Tipperary scorer from open play.
With Niall Grimley converting two ‘45s before adding a brace of points from frees and O’Neill bringing his tally to three, Armagh clinically closed out the match - but will face a stiff challenge against Donegal on Saturday night.
Armagh: B Hughes; J Morgan, A McKay, P Hughes; A Forker, G McCabe, C Mackin; S Sheridan, N Grimley (0-4, 0-2f, 0-2 ‘45s’); J Hall (0-1), R Grugan (0-4, 0-1f), C Vernon (1-1); S Campbell (0-2), R O’Neill (0-3), J Clarke. Subs: R Kennedy for Morgan (half-time), J McElroy for Forker (40), A Nugent for Clarke (61), P Casey for Mackin (61), E Rafferty for O’Neill (70). Yellow cards: Morgan (4), Clarke (43), Campbell (71).
Tipperary: M O’Reilly; A Campbell, J Meagher, E Moloney; C Kennedy, D Brennan, J Feehan; S O’Brien, L Casey; K O’Halloran, L McGrath (0-5, 0-4f), B Fox; P Austin, C Sweeney (0-6, 0-6f), P Maher. Subs: L Boland (0-1) for Kennedy (20), D O’Meara for O’Halloran (49), B Hyland for Austin (52), P Codd for O’Brien (68). Yellow cards: McGrath (4), Casey (16), Sweeney (48). Red Card: Fox (24).
Referee: Jerome Henry (Mayo).
Kildare 1-16 Clare 0-13
Kildare are right back in the Division Two promotion mix after a confident win over Clare in Newbridge on Sunday afternoon.
Cian O’Neill’s men faltered last time out against Fermanagh and in response to that defeat, the manager made five changes and those moves had the desired effect. Kildare put together their best half of football so far this season and led by 1-10 to 0-5 at half time.
The attacking trio of Ben McCormack, Jimmy Hyland and Neil Flynn – who broke a Kildare GAA record that stood for over 50 years by breaking the 100 point tally in just his 23rd appearance – caused all sorts of problems for the Clare defence.
The visitors weren’t helped by some uncertainty on their own kick out and that led directly to Kildare’s goal in the 13th minute. Pierce DeLoughrey kicked the ball straight to Ben McCormack and Gordon Kelly had little choice but to haul him down inside the square before he could get his shot away. Kelly was sent to the sin bin for the foul and Kevin Feely applied the maximum punishment by tucking away his penalty.
Hyland nudged Kildare nine points clear seconds after the restart but Clare rallied well in the second half. Led by the brilliant Jamie Malone, who scored five points from play in the second half, they cut that lead back to three with 12 minutes to go but ultimately they were left to rue missed goalscoring chances in the first half when Malone and Dale Masterson really should have hit the net.
Hyland’s third point of the game in the 58th minute was the first of four in a row for Kildare as they took charge of the game again in the closing stages and Clare’s day ended on a sour note when Cormac Murray was shown a red card in injury time.
KILDARE: M Donnellan; M Dempsey, M O’Grady, D Hyland 0-1; J Gibbons, E Doyle, P Kelly; K Feely 1-1 (1-0pen), T Moolick 0-2; P Brophy, F Conway, K Cribbin; J Hyland 0-3, B McCormack 0-3, N Flynn 0-5 (3fs, 0-1 mark).
Subs: A Masterson for Moolick, 48; A Tyrrell 0-1f for Brophy, 50; K O’Callaghan for Cribbin, 56; C O’Donoghue for Gibbons, 58; J Murray for McCormack, 65.
CLARE: P DeLoughrey; K Hartnett, C Brennan, G Kelly; D Ryan, A Fitzgerald, C O’hAinifein; G Brennan, C O’Connor 0-1; E Cleary 0-6 (3fs), C O’Dea, J Malone 0-5, D Masterson, C O’Connor, K Sexton 0-1 (1’45), D Tubridy.
Subs: K Malone for O’hAinifein, h/t; C Murray for Sexton, h/t; S Collins for Masterson, 51; G O’Brien for Ryan, 51; G Cooney for Tubridy, 68.
Referee: Padraig O’Sullivan (Kerry).