Allianz League: Weekend review from the GAA football scene

Roscommon's Niall Kilroy and Monaghan's Dessie Ward
Roscommon's Niall Kilroy and Monaghan's Dessie Ward

It was another busy weekend of action for the county sides in the Allianz League.

division one

Mayo handed Tyrone a chastening 2-13 to 0-10 defeat at Omagh as Monaghan and Cavan were also beaten in Division One.

Tyrone were second best from the off at Healy Park as Keith Higgins’ goal left Mayo 1-7 to 0-3 up at the break before Fionn McDonagh’s second-half strike.

After stunning Dublin last weekend, Monaghan were beaten 1-12 to 0-13 by Roscommon as Enda Smith hit a late penalty for the home side.

Sean O’Shea hit 12 points as Kerry beat Cavan 0-16 to 0-13 at Kingspan Breffni.

Cavan and Tyrone occupy the relegation spots after losing their opening matches with Mayo and Kerry the only teams on maximum points following the opening two rounds of Division One action.

TYRONE 0-10

MAYO 2-13

It’s early enough days in the National league but Tyrone find themselves in a similar position to a year ago as this defeat at home to Mayo yesterday afternoon at Healy Park leaves them with no points to their name from two outings, WRITES KEVIN KELLY.

On the day though they can have no complaints about the result as after a bright start they played second fiddle to an impressive Mayo side who were worthy nine point winners on the day.

Tyrone did begin well with Darren McCurry and Lee Brennan both converting frees inside the opening five minutes as they made a confident start.

Wing half forwards Fionn McDonagh and Ciaran Treacy helped level matters for the visitors, the duo going on to have good games with 1-5 from play between them.

Peter Harte edged Tyrone back in front but that was as good as it was to get for the Red Hands.

Treacy landed another fine score before the evergreen Andy Moran scored two points in the space of a minute, one from a free after a mark which was followed by a fisted effort.

Mayo had the bit between their teeth at this stage and it took a good save from Niall Morgan to prevent full forward Brian Reape from getting a goal, Mayo keeper Robert Hennelly knocking over the resulting ‘45’.

It was a warning sign that wasn’t headed by Tyrone as in the 31st minute Mayo did score a goal.

The talented trio of Lee Keegan, Moran and Keith Higgins were all involved in the build up with the latter cutting in from the right past three challenges before finishing to the back of the net in style.

McDonagh then had the final say of the opening half with another one to leave Mayo well placed leading 1-7 to 0-3 at the short whistle.

A goal wasn’t far away though with Lee Keegan and Moran combining for the superb Keith Higgins to blast to the net. McDonagh added another point before the interval to leave the men from the West well in control.

Mayo picked up were they had left off on the restart as efforts from McDonagh and Jason Doherty put them further in front. McCurry then converted a free for Tyrone’s first score since the 21st minute as they continued to struggle to break down a disciplined Mayo rear guard.

Substitute Conan Grugan then took a fine point from out on the left wing but that score was soon cancelled out at the other end of the field by Doherty.

Brennan pointed for Tyrone, one of only five scores that they got from play on the day, before Hennelly knocked over a brilliant free from beyond the 45m line.

Doherty and Harte exchanged points before Mayo grabbed their second major of the afternoon when McDonagh blasted to the net.

Keeper Morgan then ventured forward to land a quality score with the outside of his boot but moments later they lost defender Michael McKernan to the sin bin after picking up a black card.

Wing half back Paddy Durcan then got forward to kick a fantastic score for the visitors and while Tyrone had the final say with late frees from Harte and team Captain Mattie Donnelly it only served to put a slightly better look on the final scoreline.

Tyrone: N Morgan (0-1); M McKernan, R McNamee, HP McGeary; T McCann, R Brennan, P Harte (0-3, 1F); B Kennedy, D McClure; M Donnelly (0-1, 1F), N Sludden, K McGeary; D McCurry (0-2, 2F), F Burns, L Brennan (0-2, 1F). Subs: P Hampsey for HP McGeary, C Grugan (0-1) for McClure, K Coney for Burns, C McCann for McCurry, C Meyler for K McGeary

Mayo: R Hennelly (0-2, 1F, “45); S Coen, B Harrison, K Higgins (1-0); M Plunkett, L Keegan, P Durcan (0-1); D O’Connor, D Vaughan; F McDonagh (1-3), A O’Shea, C Treacy (0-2); A Moran (0-2, 1F), B Reape, Jason Doherty (0-3, 1F). Subs: C Diskin for Reape, J McCormack for Keegan, K McLoughlin for Moran, D Drake for Coen, M Ruane for Tracey.

DIVISION TWO

Ulster sides Armagh and Fermanagh have missed out on their first Division Two wins of the campaign after injury-time scores left them with draws.

Armagh led by three points before David Turbidy popped up with a last-gasp goal for Clare to make it 1-13 to 2-10 in a game where three players were sent-off.

Sean Quigley’s late goal put Fermanagh in front against Tipperary but a Liam McGrath point left it 2-5 apiece.

The Orchard and Erne sides have two draws from their opening two matches.

There was a 12-minute delay early in the Pairc Esler encounter after Clare’s Dermot Coughlan sustained a serious leg injury.

The sides were level at 0-3 apiece when Armagh forward Jamie Clarke was shown a straight red for high challenge on Kevin Harnet.

Armagh responded well to going doing to 14 men and Gregory McCabe netted for the hosts to make it 1-5 to 0-5.

However, Clare finished the first half with an unanswered 1-3 as Turbidy fired over three points while Kieran Malone fisted into the Orchard net.

Donegal produced an escape act to edge out Meath 1-13 to 0-14 at Ballybofey.

A physically dominant Meath side looked certain winners as they led 0-14 to 0-10 with 12 minutes of normal time left.

But Caolan McGonagle scrambled in a lucky goal to give Donegal a lifeline and three more points secured the home win as Meath missed late chances.

division three

Caolan Mooney’s goal five minutes into injury time earned Down a dramatic two-point win over Sligo at Connolly Park.

The hosts led at half-time with Pat Hughes’ early goal helping them into a two-point lead.

However Down managed to stay within touching distance of their opponents who were reduced to 14 men when Hughes was dismissed with five minutes remaining.

The victory is Paddy Tally’s first inter-county win as Down boss.

division four

Derry comfortably saw off London with a 0-19 to 1-9 win at Ballinascreen to make it two wins from two in National League Division Four.

Amid freezing conditions the visitors matched their opponents for much of the first half, with Adrian Hanlon’s goal ensuring London went into the break just two points behind.

Glen clubman Emmet Bradley starred for the Oak Leafers with a seven points.

Much like they did against Antrim a week ago, Derry controlled proceedings early on with Bradley and Ciaran McFaul both finding their range with two points each as the hosts moved into a five point lead.

However led by captain Liam Gavaghan, London fought back and were soon on level terms after an impressive five minute spell with points from Gavaghan and David Dunne coming either side of Hanlon’s goal.

But the visitors were unable to keep up with their heavily-fancied opponents after the break as McFaul and Bradley again added to their tallies to move Derry back into a comfortable position.

The only blemish on an otherwise controlled second half display for McErlain’s side was Conor McAtamney’s dismissal for two yellow card offences.

The numerical disadvantage did not however appear to hamper the hosts as they closed out the game with ease.

In contrast to Derry’s start, Antrim slipped to a second consecutive defeat in the bottom tier having been held off by Wexford.

Michael O’Regan’s goal early in the second half proved to be the decisive score as Wexford were forced to play 30 minutes with 14 men following Glen Malone’s yellow.