Armagh beat Derry but are relegated

Derry's Niall O'Loughlin in action against Armagh's Ethan Rafferty
Derry's Niall O'Loughlin in action against Armagh's Ethan Rafferty

Armagh’s six point victory over Derry couldn’t save them from relegation on Sunday.

The Orchard men did their bit with a victory at the Athletic Grounds but Fermanagh’s draw with Tyrone and Laois success over Meath consigned them to Division Three football next season.

Ultimately, it was the 17 point hammering at the hands of promoted side Cavan a couple of weeks ago that cost Kieran McGeeney’s men their Division Two status.

Four teams finished level on six points apiece second-from- bottom of the final Division Two table but Armagh dropped out due to a vastly inferior scoring difference of -16.

A Micael McKenna goal just before half-time gave Armagh a 1-12 to 0-7 lead at the break, butDerry fought back through James Kielt, Ryan Bell and three Mark Lynch frees.

However Armagh, boosted by a string of Ethan Rafferty frees, pulled away to wrap up the victory.

Over in Enniskillen a battling display from Fermanagh earned them a vital draw with Tyrone that kept them in Division Two for another year.

Barry Tierney’s 10th minute goal had Mickey Harte’s men ahead by 1-4 to 0-6 at half time, with Sean Quigley clipping over the last two scores before the break.

Points from Ryan Lyons and Quigley had the hosts in front for the first time and Fermanagh held on for the draw.

controlled most of the second half. They led by three going into the last 15 minutes but Tyrone

Substitute Pat Cadden hit what looked like the winner but the Red Hands - who will play Cavan in the division’s decider at Croke Park - preserved their unbeaten record thanks to a late Ronan Neill strike.

“I am absolutely delighted as this was our greatest challenge, given the fact that people are talking about Tyrone as potential All-Ireland winners this year,” said Fermanagh boss Pete McGrath.

“It took energy, manliness, grit, composure and the boys showed all of that.”

Cavan’s victory over Galway secured them a place in Division One next year alongside Tyrone.

Down were relegated and will play Division Two football in 2017 but Monaghan’s stunning fightback against Donegal spared them a similar fate. Monaghan fell seven points behind after a Martin McElhinney goal capped a bright start by Donegal, but the hosts worked their way back into it and they conceded just two points in the second half to halt their four-game losing streak.

AFL

Div One: Monaghan 1-10 Donegal 1-09; Mayo 1-19 Down 1-16

Div Two: Armagh 1-18 Derry 0-15; Cavan 1-16 Galway1-12; Fermanagh 0-12 Tyrone 1-09

Div Four: Antrim 0-12 Louth 1-09