Division Three round-up: Quinlivan inspires Tipp to promotion

Offaly and Longford preserve third-flight status by the skins of their teeth

Michael Quinlivan’s hat-trick inspired Tipperary to promotion from Division Three. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Michael Quinlivan’s hat-trick inspired Tipperary to promotion from Division Three. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho


Tipperary 3-8 Armagh 0-16

Michael Quinlivan not so much secured promotion for Tipperary at the Athletic Grounds on Sunday as wrote his name into the annals of his county’s football history.

A superb second-half hat-trick of goals from the tall, lean full-forward left Armagh reeling after they had been clearly the better team for the best part of the game - and that’s on the admission of Tipperary boss Liam Kearns.

“Armagh were better than us for long spells but Michael Quinlivan was sensational,” said an emotional Kearns at the finish, “We thought we had blown our chance of promotion when we lost to Louth last week.”

It was a spectacular turnaround given that Armagh had been in a relatively comfortable position at 0-15 to 2-5 entering the last few minutes of the contest.

But having already delivered telling blows by hitting the opposition net in the 37th and 46th minutes, Quinlivan clinically applied the coup de grace in the fifth minute of added time when he seared in from the left to bury a superb shot in the corner of the net to complete a joyous day for his county.

For Armagh boss Kieran McGeeney, it was the ultimate heartbreak.

“We had goal chances ourselves and missed them. That came back to bite us,” he conceded.

Tipperay: E Comerford; A Campbell, P Codd, S O’Connell; B Maher, R Kiely 0-1, G Hannigan; L Casey, J Kennedy; J Keane, K O’Halloran 0-2 (2f), B Fox; C Sweeney 0-2 (1f), M Quinlivan 3-1, C O’Shaughnessy. Subs: K Fahey for O’Shaughnessy (52), L Boland 0-1 for O’Halloran (66) A Moloney 0-1 for Hannigan (70). Yellow cards: Maher (16), Fahey (64).

Armagh: B Hughes; J Morgan, C Vernon, P Hughes; N Rowland, A Forker 0-1, A McKay; B Crealey, O O’Neill 0-2; N Grimley 0-3, A Duffy, R Grugan 0-3; J Clarke 0-3, S Campbell, A Murnin 0-3. Subs: Subs: G McParland for Duffy, C McKeever for Crealey (48), C O’Hanlon for O’Neill (65), G McCabe 0-1 for Forker (70). Yellow cards: O’Neill (24), Murnin (62), Vernon (71).

Referee: Rory Hickey (Clare)

Offaly 3-15 Laois 4-11

Offaly retained their Division Three status by the skin of their teeth in a drama packed encounter in Tullamore on Sunday, with a last gasp shot from corner back Darren Strong almost giving Laois the draw that would have saved their bacon as they went back to the basement division.

Strong’s high shot four minutes into injury time drew plenty of debate as it was very close to heading over before tailing off but Offaly deserved their win after a good overall performance.

Offaly were in complete control at different stages but Laois showed great character to bring it down to the wire. After a hesitant start, Offaly played their best football for a 20 minute spell in the first half with Sean Doyle’s goal helping them to a 1-9 to 0-3 lead before a Donie Kingston goal brought Laois back into it.

Offaly led by 1-9 to 1-6 at half time and Graham Guilfoyle’s early second half goal really put Offaly in the driving seat. Kevin Meaney replied with a Laois goal but Sean Doyle’s second goal, coupled with a second yellow card for Kevin Meaney, seemed to have given Offaly an unassailable 3-11 to 2-8 lead.

Laois, however, kept plugging away with two Donie Kingston goals, the first from a penalty, leaving only a point in it in injury time.

OFFALY: A Mulhall; B Darby, J Lalor, P Cunningham; N Darby (0-1), M Brazil (0-1), S Nally; E Carroll (0-3), D Hanlon; J O’Connor (0-2), G Guilfoyle (1-0), C Donoghue; S Doyle (2-1), N Dunne (0-4, 2f and 1 ‘45’), B Allen (0-3, 2f). Subs: D Brady for Cunningham (Black card, 5m), J Moloney for Doyle (60m), W Mulhall for Hanlon (69m).

LAOIS: G Briody; D Strong, D Booth, J Kelly; D O’Connor, E Buggie, P McMahon (0-1); J O’Loughlin (0-1), K Meaney (1-0); A Farrell (0-1), D Conway (0-1, f), A Doran; D Kingston (3-4, 1 goal from a penalty and 3f), E O’Carroll (0-2), P Kingston (0-1). Subs: G Walsh for Doran (29m), N Donoher for P Kingston (43m) D Luttrell for Walsh (48m), S Moore for O’Connor (55m), G Dillon for Farrell (65m), D O’Reilly for O’Carroll (69m).

Referee: A Nolan (Wicklow).

Antrim 1-13 Longford 0-16

A last gasp free from Sean McCormack earned Longford a draw and secured their survival in Division Three of the National Football League while relegating Antrim at Corrigan Park on Sunday.

Longford went into an early 0-3 to 0-1 lead with McCormack, Robbie Smyth and Darren Gallagher on target, but Antrim rallied and hit five-in-a-row to lead by three midway through the half.

Back came Longford and they hit seven of the last eight scores of the half to move into a 0-10 to 0-7 lead at the break.

The visitors picked up where they left off after the break with Smyth and Liam Connerton pointing either side of a McGourty free while goalkeeper Paddy Collum kicked a 45 to make it a five point game.

The game was to change on 50 minutes following a Matthew Fitzpatrick point for Antrim when Longford’s Andrew Farrell was shown a second yellow for trailing down Kevin Niblock who was about to finish to the net. A penalty was also awarded and McGourty made no mistake, firing to the corner of the net to leave one in it.

Declan Lynch levelled just after, but scores from Michael Quinn and Smyth restored Longford’s lead, but they were then down to 13 when Barry McKeown was shown a straight red for a wild two-footed challenge on Brendan Bradley.

Antrim were now driving forward, but found their scores hard to come by although they finally drew level in injury-time through McGourty after they were reduced to 14 after Patrick McCormick was forced off injured with all six substitutes already made.

Antrim needed a winner and six minutes into added time, McGourty curled over what seemed the decisive score, but Longford still had time and drew the free that saved their Division Three status and broke Antrim hearts.

ANTRIM: C Kerr; C Hamill, P Gallagher, P Healy (0-1); P McBride, D Lynch (0-2), P McAleer; J Dowling, K Niblock; R McCann (0-1), M Fitzpatrick (0-1), SP Donnelly; CJ McGourty (1-7, 1 -0 penalty, 0-4 frees), B Bradley (0-1), N Delargy. Subs: P Brannigan for C Hamill (18 mins), D Nugent for J Dowling (45 mins), C Small for R McCann (46 mins), E Walsh for P Brannigan (53 mins), J Hannigan for SP Donnelly (53 mins), P McCormick for N Delargy (65 mins).

LONGFORD: P Collum (0-1 45); D Brady, B Gilleran (0-1), A Farrell; D McElligott, P McCormack, B O’Farrell; D Gallagher (0-1), L Moran; L Connerton (0-1), J McGivney (0-1), B McKeon (0-2); R Smyth (0-4, 3 frees), M Quinn (0-1), S McCormack (0-4, 3 frees). Subs: D Masterson for L Moran (53 mins), J Keegan for P McCormack (69 mins), P Farrell for L Connerton (70 mins).

REFEREE: Noel Mooney (Cavan)

Sligo 0-17 Louth 1-11

With promotion and a league final date with Tipperary next Saturday safely in the bag, Louth boss Colin Kelly made sweeping changes to his starting XV in Drogheda, and Sligo were only too grateful to take advantage.

Kelly made 12 changes to the team that secured promotion against Tipp a week previously, but it didn’t have any adverse effect initially as a well-worked Ronan Holcroft goal helped them to a 1-6 to 0-5 half-time lead.

It was Niall Carew’s turn to ring the changes at half-time as he introduced Adrian Marren, Mark Breheny, Stephen Gilmartin and Kevin McDonnell and it certainly breathed new life into the visitors.

With Marren re-invigorating their attack, the Yeats’ men slowly nibbled at Louth’s lead, drawing level on sixty minutes, 1-10 to 0-13.

Breheny gave them the lead for the first time since the opening minute and while Adrian McIntyre and Jim McEneaney traded scores, the excellent Niall Murphy closed it out with the last two points of the contest.

Sligo: F Ruddy; C Harrison (0-1), R Donavan, N Gaughan; E McHugh (0-1), B Egan, K Cawley; C Breheny, A McIntyre (0-1); N Ewing, N Murphy (0-6, 3f), J Kelly (0-3, 2f); D Kelly, P Hughes (0-1), C Henry. Subs: A Marren (0-2) for D Kelly (ht), S Gilmartin for J Kelly (ht), M Breheny (0-2, 1f) for D Kelly (ht), K McDonnell for N Gaughan (ht), S Coen for P Hughes (60).

Louth: J Flanagan; K Murphy, P Reilly, K Carr; D Crilly, D McMahon (0-1), D Marks; C Martin, J Califf (0-2f); A Williams, J McEneaney (0-5, 4f), C McKeever; R Moore, S Mulroy (0-2), R Holcroft (1-1). Subs: J Bingham for K Murphy (26), Dean Maguire for K Carr (33), N Gallagher for J Flanagan (39), R Burns for R Holcroft (50), Derek Maguire for D Crilly (62), J Stewart for D Marks (68).

Referee: N McKenna (Monaghan).

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