McKenna Cup: Tyrone do enough as Donegal ease by Monaghan

Murnin goal gives Armagh impetus against Derry, as Down finish on a high against UUJ

Monaghan 0-19 Donegal 4-17

A stronger, more experienced Donegal had little difficulty in booking their place in the McKenna Cup semi-final when they proved too adept for Monaghan in practically every aspect of their play in Clones.

Goals were the deciding factor in this contest that turned into a fairly one-sided affair in the second half as Monaghan’s challenge faded.

It was a much closer contest in the first half with the sides level three times in the opening 20 minutes and Monaghan went ahead on one occasion.


Donegal led at half-time by 2-9 to 0-10, the goals by Odhran MacNiallais in the seventh minute and Ryan McHugh in the 20th minute to leave five points between the sides at half-time.

Monaghan were awarded a penalty in the opening minute of the second half but Jack McCarron was badly off target, with Donegal then effectively killing the game off as a contest with two further goals, the first from man-of-the-match Paddy McBrearty in the ninth minute and Jamie Brennan six minutes later to put the visitors 13 points in front and no way back for the home side. Monaghan were awarded a second penalty two minutes into stoppage time, but even a change of kicker brought no luck with Micheal Bannigan’s shot well saved by Donegal custodian, Sean Patton.

Donegal play Armagh in the semi-final on Wednesday night with the sides agreeing to toss a coin on Monday morning to decide whether the game will be in Ballybofey or Armagh.

DONEGAL: S Patton, L McLoone, C Ward, P Brennan, T McCleneghan, S McMenamin, R McHugh (1-1), N Mullins, H McFadden, C McGonigle, O Mac Niallais (1-1, 0-1 free), M McHugh (0-1), J Brennan (1-3, 0-1 free), P McBrearty (1-8, 0-4 frees), D O'Connor (0-3).

Subs: J McGee for H McFadden, M O'Reilly for M McHugh, C McGinley for N Mullins, B McCole for R McHugh, S McBrearty for P McBreartyE Doherty for T McCleneghan.

MONAGHAN: S Garland, D McArdle, P McGuirk, B Kerr, J Mealiff (0-2), F Kelly, F Connolly, D Hughes, K Duffy, D Freeman, C McCarthy (0-2), D Ward (0-1), M Bannigan (0-3, two frees), J McCarron, (0-8, five frees), J Wilson 0-1.

Subs: J McCarron for D McArdle, N McAdam (0-1) for K Duffy, K O’Connell for J Mealiff, O Duffy (0-1) for D Freeman, T Kerr for J Wilson, S Finnegan for F Connolly.

Referee: J McQuillan (Cavan).

Fermanagh 0-4 Tyrone 0-8

Tyrone advanced to another Dr McKenna Cup decider thanks to this four-point victory over home side Fermanagh at Brewster Park. This was to be a dourly fought out encounter, scoring always at a premium with just three points shot in a testing second half played in difficult conditions.

Tyrone were to open brightly enough shooting three points inside 10 minutes, Declan McClure and Conor McAliskey on target but a dogged Fermanagh side quickly pegged that lead back.

In what was their most productive spell of the contest the Erne side levelled with three scores in a breezy five minute spell.

Aiden Breen, Barry Mulrone and Seamus Quigley the latter with a placed kick had the home side back in business. But from there on both attacks were to be curtailed.

Tyrone did pick up three points in the lead up to the interval and Fermanagh were dealt a blow on the stroke of half-time when defender Kane Connor was despatched on a second yellow card.

Fermanagh notched the first score on the resumption, Ryan Jones pumping over but that was to be the final success for them. In fact it took over 25 minutes for the next score to arrive, Darren McCurry slotting a Tyrone free and a few minutes from time Ronan O'Neill thumped over the final score of the day.

TYRONE: M O'Neill, A McCrrory, H P McGeary; M Cassidy; C McLaughlin, M Donnelly, K McGeary; B McDonnell; D McClure(0-1); R Donnelly, N Sludden, C Mc Cann; D McCurry (0-2, frees); Ronan McHugh; C McAliskey (0-2 free).

Subs: P Hamspey for H P McGeary; Conor Meyler for McAliskey; Padraigh McNulty for McDonnell; Ronan O’Neill (0-1) for D McCurry; Michael McKernan for R Donnelly; Ronan McNabb for M Donnelly.

FERMANAGH: P Cadden; C McManus; C Cullen; K Connor; J McMahon; L Cullen; D McCusker; E Donnelly; R Jones (0-1); B Mulrone (0-1); R Lyons; A Breen (0-1); D Teague; C Jones; Seamus Quigley (0-1, free ).

Subs: R Corrigan for Lyons, E McManus for L Cullen; Sean Quigley for S Quigley; E McHugh for Teague; E Courtney forBreen.

Referee; C Brannigan ; Down.

Armagh 1-14 Derry 0-13

Armagh secured their place in Wednesday night’s semi-final against Donegal on the back of this hard-earned win over Derry.

An Andrew Murnin goal helped to power Kieran McGeeney's side into a 1-8 to 0-5 half-time lead but when Derry's resilience was complemented by the long-range shooting skills of substitute James Kielt they forced their way back into the game.

Kielt thundered over five points (four frees) which kept his side on their hosts' shoulder but late points from Niall Rowland and Aaron Findon helped to get Armagh over the line.

McGeeney, though, refused to draw any real degree of comfort from the result.

“We missed goal chances, our finishing left something to be desired,” he said.

ARMAGH: B Hughes; P Burns, A McKay, P Hughes; N Rowland (0-2), G McCabe, M Shields; S Sheridan, C Vernon (0-2); B Crealey, A Forker (0-1), R McShane; R Grugan (0-5, three frees), A Murnin (1-1), E Rafferty.

Subs: R Lappin for Crealey (5), M Stevenson 0-2 for Rafferty (18), B Donaghy for Burns (h/t), M McKenna for Forker (63), A Duffy for Grugan (63), A Findon (0-1)) for Murnin (bc, 66). Yellow card: Lappin (57).

DERRY: B McKinless; C McCluskey, M McEvoy, R Mooney 0-1; P Coney, M Bateson, L McGoldrick; C McAtamney (0-1), J Doherty; E Lynn (0-1), N Toner (0-1), C McFaul (0-1); C Doherty, M Lynch (0-2, one free), P Hagan (0-1, free).

Subs: P Kearney for Bateson (44), J Kielt 0-5 (4f) for Lynch (44), F Higgins for Doherty (54). Yellow card: Kearney (62).

Referee: Martin McNally (Monaghan).

Down 1-14 UUJ 0-9

Down finished their campaign with a well-deserved win over Ulster University in Burren as Eamonn Burns’ men set themselves up nicely for the upcoming National League.

Connaire Harrison’s first-half goal was crucial, but the Mournemen always had the ascendancy and never led by any less than three points throughout the match as the students failed to get a grip with the home side for the vast majority of the tie.

Down were 0-4 to 0-1 in front by the time Harrison found the net on 22 minutes and the goal itself was fantastically worked effort.

Shane Murray collected a pass from Conor Poland to surge forward before offloading to Down’s star forward and he produced an impudent finish with the outside of his right boot that flew past UUJ goalkeeper Seán Fox.

Shay Millar registered three points to add to Harrison’s 1-2 for Down who had 10 different scorers. For UUJ, Matthew Walsh and Down county player Niall Madine hit three points, but they failed to get into enough scoring positions to trouble the hosts.

DOWN: S Harrison; C Flanagan, S Murnin, B McArdle; K Quinn, N McParland, A Doherty (0-2, both frees); A Morgan (0-1), C Poland; S Millar (0-3), C Maginn, C McGrady (0-1); C Harrison (1-2, 2f), S Dornan (0-1), S Murray (0-1).

Subs: K McKernan (0-1) for Murray (53 mins), R Millar for McGrady (53 mins), B O’Hagan (0-1) for Dornan (56 mins), G McGovern (0-1) for Quinn (64 mins).

UUJ: S Fox; R Lively, C Burke, E Murray; M Magee, R Brennan, S Loughran; J Monroe, M Walsh (0-3); R McAnespie, E McHugh (0-1), P Laverty; D Tallon, N Madine (0-3, two freess), L Harney (0-1).

Subs: T O’Brien for Burke (h-t), D Muldrew for Laverty (44 mins), M Bradley for Tallon (44 mins), R McNamee (0-1) for Brennan (51 mins).

Referee: Karol Doherty (Antrim).