Division Three round-up: Red hot Derry hold off Cavan comeback
Unlikely bottom two finishes for both provincial winners Tipperary and Cavan
Derry’s impressive full forward Shane McGuigan celebrates after scoring a late point. Photograph: John McVitty/Inpho
Provincial title holders Cavan and Tipperary are in danger of dropping to Division 4 of the Allianz NFL for 2022 after a disastrous afternoon for the pair.
Derry’s 1-16 to 2-11 defeat of Ulster champions Cavan and Munster holders Tipp’s 1-17 to 1-12 loss to Offaly resulted in unlikely bottom two finishes for both counties in their respective Division 3 groups.
Cavan almost turned things around against Derry, recovering from a seven-point deficit after 55 minutes at Kingspan Breffni to trail by just one on two occasions late on.
But 69th and 73rd minute Derry points from man of the match Shane McGuigan, who top scored with 0-8, ultimately sealed the win for Rory Gallagher’s men.
It’s in-form Derry’s third win from three Division 3 north games and sends them through on maximum points to a promotion play-off against Limerick on the weekend of June 12/13th.
Cavan trailed by a point at half-time and by 1-13 to 1-6 at the second water break but an unanswered 1-3 from the Breffni men, including a Martin Reilly palmed goal, left just one in it.
That was as close as Cavan got though and their third place finish in the group means a relegation play-off against Wicklow.
Offaly will play Fermanagh in the second promotion play-off with John Maughan’s Faithful pulling off an impressive five-point win over Tipperary.
A goal from All-Star Conor Sweeney and back to back Philly Ryan points left Tipp a point up at half-time, 1-8 to 1-7.
The sides were tied at 1-11 apiece with 12 minutes to go but Offaly finished strongly with veteran attacker Niall McNamee scoring three late points to seal the win.
Limerick secured their Derry date after turning in a strong second-half performance to beat Wicklow by 2-19 to 1-12. Brothers Hugh and Robbie Bourke struck 1-9 between them for Billy Lee’s side with Hugh accounting for 1-7.
The loss leaves Wicklow in danger of an immediate return to Division 4 while Longford will have to beat Tipp to stay up.
Sean Quigley struck the game’s only goal as Fermanagh and Longford played out a 1-15 to 0-18 draw, the Ernesiders shooting a 76th minute equaliser to finish second in the north table.
Allianz NFL Division 3 fixtures
(Games to be played on June 12/13)
Derry v Limerick
Offaly v Fermanagh
Cavan v Wicklow
Tipperary v Longford