Winning start for McGleenan as Cavan put Tyrone to the sword

Defending McKenna Cup champions suffer feisty opening defeat at Breffni Park

Cavan 1-13 Tyrone 0-12

Cavan boss Mattie McGleenan made a winning start in his new job as he put defending champions Tyrone to the sword in a feisty Dr. McKenna Cup opener at Kingspan Breffni Park.

The Tyrone native comfortably put one over his native county despite the fact that the visitors played with an extra man for 11 second half minutes.

Cavan led by the odd point in five after 13 minutes thanks to Martin Reilly’s angled effort and while Tyrone huffed and puffed thereafter, the hosts never looked like relinquishing their lead.


In a game conspicuous by the number of marks (two) awarded, Gerard Smith’s flicked goal (22) helped propel Cavan into a 1-6 to 0-5 lead at the half-way stage.

Tyrone’s propensity to lorry shots shy of the target saw them ping four efforts into James Farrelly’s mid-rib and their lack of a cutting edge continued to haunt them on the restart.

Demonstrating great mobility and an eager-beaver workrate, Cavan continued to enjoy the lion’s share of possession as the second half got underway despite Tyrone enjoying the benefit of a stiffening breeze.

Lee Brennan and Connor McAliskey (two) did keep Cavan honest though and with 20 minutes to play, Cavan's lead was cut to a manageable four points, 1-9 to 0-8.

Cavan received a sucker blow in the 57th minute when Niall McDermott received his second yellow card but Tyrone also went down to 14 men just 11 minutes later when Mattie Donnelly was red-carded after an off-the-ball incident.

With Martin Reilly doing an expert job on marshalling Tyrone playmaker Peter Harte, Cavan largely remained in their comfort zone even if it took a diving save by Farrelly to prevent Ronan McHugh from grabbing a late lifeline for the O'Neill county in the dregs of the game.

CAVAN: J Farrelly; F Reilly, P Faulkner, K Brady (0-1); C Brady, M Reilly (0-1), G Smith (1-2); K Clarke, T Corr (0-1); J Dillon, N McDermott (0-1, f), S Tierney; N Clerkin, L Buchanan, S Johnston (0-4, 3f). Subs: P O'Connor (0-1) for L Buchanan (inj, 19); N McKiernan (0-2) for S Tierney (half-time); T Mooney for J Dillon (45); S O'Rourke for T Corr (50); J McLoughlin for P O'Connor (64); C Smith for S Johnston (B.C, 69)

TYRONE: N Morgan; A McCrory, J Monroe, R McNabb; M Cassidy, T McCann, N Sludden; D McClure, P McNulty; D McCurry, P Harte (0-1), C McCullagh (0-1); L Brennan (0-3, 1f), C McAliskey (0-5, 3f), R O'Neill (0-2, 2f). Subs: R Brennan for M Cassidy (inj, 15); H P McGeary for R Brennan (inj, 31); M Donnelly for P McNulty (half-time); R McHugh for D McCurry (57); N McKenna for C McAliskey (inj, 63)

Referee: M McNally (Monaghan)

Monaghan 1-13 Fermanagh 0-15

Monaghan got their 2017 season off to a winning start when they held out for the narrowest of victories over Fermanagh in this free-flowing and entertaining contest that was played in somewhat greasy conditions in Clones on Sunday.

At the end of a lively first half Monaghan led by a goal, that score by debutant David McAlister getting Monaghan off to the best possible start after just two minutes.

At half time the score was Monaghan 1-8, Fermanagh 0-8. On the resumption Fermanagh had the margin down to the minimum after 3 minutes with 2 points from frees by Tomas Corrigan and he was on target again in the 16th minute to cancel out a point by Darren Hughes.

A brace from Tomas Kerr and one from Kieran Hughes restored Monaghan to a 4 points lead entering the final 10 minutes but Fermanagh struck back for 3 on the trot from substitute Ciaran Corrigan, Tomas Corrigan from a free and substitute Danny Teague from a ‘45 to make it a one-point game yet again.

That one point separated the sides going into stoppage time with an exchange of points between Fintan Kelly and Eoin Donnelly leaving the minimum in it at the finish. Monaghan finished the game with 14 players when Kieran Hughes picked up a 2nd booking in the final minute of normal time.

Monaghan: R Beggan, O Coyle 0-1, F Kelly 0-1, R Wylie, K Duffy, C Walshe, B Greenan, D Hughes 0-2, K Hughes 0-2 (1f), K O'Connell, J Mealiff, G Doogan, D McAlister 1-0, T Kerr 0-4, M Bannigan 0-3 (2f). Subs: N McAdam for C Walshe (52), S Carey for D McAliser (56), S Finnegan for J Mealiff (63), D Malone for G Doogan (69).

Fermanagh: C Snow, M Jones, L Cullen, T Daly, D McCusker 0-1, R McCluskey, A Breen, R Hyde, K Connor, C McManus, T Clarke, P McCusker 0-1, E Courtney 0-1, E Donnelly 0-1, T Corrigan 0-9 (9f). Subs: T McCaffrey for T Daly (14), C Corrigan 0-1 for R McCluskey (HT), B Mulrone for T Clarke (HT), D Teague 0-1 ('45) for E Courtney (57), J Duffy for A Breen (71).

Referee: N Mooney (Cavan).

Derry 3-10 Armagh 2-12

Derry just edged Armagh by the minimum in an enjoyably openly but competitive curtain-raiser at Owenbeg.

Niall Loughlin top scored for the winners with four points, but it was goals from Aidy McLaughlin, Emmett McGuckin and impact sub Enda Lynn which ultimately brought Derry their first victory over Armagh in three meetings.

Kieran McGeeney’s team continued their fine O Fiaich Cup winning form in the early phases of the contest and were well worth their1-2 to 0-1 lead after 24 quiet minutes, Anto Duffy hitting their major.

But the hosts gradually battled back and just about deserved the single point victory in the end.

DERRY: B McKinless; O Hegarty, O Duffin, P Hagan, P Coney, J Doherty, N Forester, G O'Neill, A McLaughlin (1-1), M Warnock (0-1), N Loughlin (0-4, 0-3fs), C McWilliams, R Bell (0-2), E McGuckin (1-1), B Heron. Subs: E Lynn (1-0) for O'Neill (45), C Nevin for McLaughlin (47), R Murphy for McGuckin (55), P Kearney (0-1) for Coney (55), C McGrogan for Warnock (66), M Lynch for Doherty (70)

ARMAGH: M McNeice; O Lappin, C Vernon, J McGill (0-1), S McCoy, N Rowland (0-1), C Higgins, S Sheridan, A Findon, A Forker, N McConville, R Grugan (0-2fs), A Duffy (1-0), C McKeever (1-1), O Mac Iomhair (0-3, 0-1f). Subs: C White for McConville (H/T), B Crealy (0-3) for McCoy (H/T), J Hall for Rowland (54), E Rafferty (0-1f) for Findon (58)

Referee: Niall Cullen (Fermanagh)

Donegal 4-13 UUJ 2-20

Ryan McHugh got a late, late goal to deprive the Donegal U-21 team victory in a very entertaining Dr. McKenna Cup game in Ballybofey.

McHugh, Patrick McBrearty and Lorcan Connor (all Donegal players) accounted for 1-8 of the Students’ total as they snatched a late victory.

The young Donegal side deserved better. They led 2-8 to 1-9 at the break and two super goals from Brendan McCole and Ethan O’Donnell had them three points up with five minutes left.

Martin McHugh’s UUJ side were able to take Frank Burns in for the second half and he contributed 0-4 before Ryan McHugh’s late, late winner. Just before the end Donegal lost Tony McClenaghan to a second yellow card.

DONEGAL: D Rodgers; D Monagle, S McMenamin, C Morrison; E Bán Gallagher (1-1), N Friel, D Ó Baoill (0-1); T McClenaghan, M Carroll (1-2); C Bonner, M Langan (0-3), N O'Donnell (0-3); C Doherty, G McBride (0-3, 0-2f), J Brennan. Subs: B McCole (1-0) for Friel (48); D Gallagher for Bonner (52); E O'Donnell (1-0) for Brennan (54); A Neely for G McBride (62); C Diver for Doherty (65); D Clarke for O'Donnell (69)

UUJ: S Fox; R Kelly, R Johnston, C Boylan; R McHugh (1-1), B Grant (0-2), G McKinless; N McKeever (0-1), R McGlone (0-1); J Kearney (0-1), M Walsh, L Connor (0-1); P McBrearty (0-7,0-2f), N Madine (0-1,f), D Gallagher (1-0). Subs: D McKeown for McKinless (bc29); F Burns (0-4,0-3f) for McKeever; J McCann for Walsh; R McAlinden (0-1) for Gallagher (all ht); J Fitzgerald for Grant (48); S McGahon for Connor (65)

Referee: Conor Dourneen (Cavan)

Antrim 3-12 St Mary’s University College 2-16

ST Mary’s claimed the points at Glenavy in Sunday’s opening Dr McKenna Cup Section B game against an experimental Antrim side with a point to spare.

The students raced into an early 0-4 to 0-1 lead with man-of-the-match Oisin O’Neill to the fore, but the hosts rallied and were level on 25 minutes before St Mary’s hit the first goal as the impressive Conor Meyler initiated and finished a flowing move.

The West Belfast college hit the next three points to go six clear, but a Ryan Murray goal on the stroke of half-time made it 1-7 to 1-4 in favour of St Mary’s.

The second period exploded into life with the scores flowing, but St Mary’s grabbed the initiative on 41 minutes when O’Neill fired into the net and they led by six on 58 minutes before Antrim stormed back into the game with two goals from Ruairi McCann and a Tomás McCann penalty in a minute to level.

However, it was St Mary’s who finished stronger and the winning score fittingly came for O’Neill who kicked a free.

ANTRIM: R Hanna; C Hamill (0-1), P Gallagher, N Delargy; D Lynch (0-1), J Laverty, P McAleer; M Johnston, O Lenehan; R Scott, R Murray (1-6, 0-3 frees), Ruairi McCann (Creggan) (1-1); C Small, K Niblock (0-1), Ruairi McCann (Aghagallon). Subs: S Beatty (0-1) for O Lenehan (21), P McBride for C Small (31), T McCann (1-0 pen) for R McCann (Aghagallon, 45), E Walsh for P McAleer (52), L McLarnon for R Scott (62).

ST MARY'S: M Reid; J Hannigan, A McKay, K Mallon; C Byrne, M O'Hare, C Myler (1-1); D McConville, O O'Neill (1-6, 0-2 frees, 0-1 45); C McShane, K McGeary (0-2), S McConville (0-1); D Kavanagh (0-1), M FItzpatrick, N Toner (0-4). Subs: C Quinn for D McConville (47), B Og McGilligan for D Kavanagh (47), C Mac Iomhair for M O'Hare (51), P Sweeney for M Reid (black card, 60), J Colton (0-1) for C McShane (66), P Og McCrickard for C Byrne (70).

Referee: Dan Mullan (Derry)

Down 1-11 Queens University Belfast 1-8

Down got 2017 off to the best possible start with a well-deserved win over Queens University in Downpatrick in their McKenna Cup opener on Sunday.

Alan Davidson’s penalty just before the break proved to be the difference between the sides on the scoreboard but, in truth, Eamonn Burns’ men were good value for their win with their University opponents staging a late comeback that made the tie seem closer than it really was.

Bredagh man Davidson hit 1-4 with Man of the Match Cathal Magee contributing four points. Down led by eight ten minutes into the second period and although Donal McKeever netted for James McCartan’s side three minutes from the end, Down always looked in control to take victory.

Down: G McMahon; R McAleenan, G McGovern, D O'Hagan; D McKibbin, C McGovern, C Mooney; A Carr, J Flynn (0-1); J Murphy, C Magee (0-4, 2f), S Millar; A Davidson (1-4, 1pen), B O'Hagan (0-1), D Savage (0-1, free) Subs: R Mallon for Murphy (Black Card - 13mins), P Havern for Savage (42mins), B McArdle for Mooney (49mins), C Maginn for Millar (51 mins), P Turley for Carr (64mins), D Turley for B O'Hagan (64mins)

Queens: C Mullan Young; N Keenan, A Doherty, F Quinn; S Heffron, J McMahon, D McKeever (1-0); C McCartan, J Dowling; A Rushe, M Clarke (0-2, both frees), A Morgan; M O'Reilly (0-2, 1f), C McGrady (0-2, 1f), C Harney. Subs: R Campbell for Morgan (H-T), C Francis (0-1) for Dowling (H-T), A McClements for McGrady (44mins), B McCann for Doherty (51mins), S Fox (0-1) for Harney (62mins), A Fegan for Keenan (64mins)

Referee: Maggie Farrelly (Cavan)