Tyrone defeat opens up relegation possibility

Donegal's Ryan McHugh and Tyrone's Ronan O'Neill
Donegal's Ryan McHugh and Tyrone's Ronan O'Neill

Donegal took a huge step towards survival in Division One with an emphatic win over Tyrone in Ballybofey.

Ryan McHugh’s first-half goal and some superb free taking by Michael Murphy inspired Donegal.

McHugh’s goal, three minutes before half-time, helped Donegal lead by nine at the changeover.

Hugh McFadden seemed poised to net after Frank McGlynn’s effort came off the upright.

Seán Fox, in as a replacement for Niall Morgan after 20 minutes, saved at the feet of McFadden, but McHugh crashed home.

The two teams are back on the same battlefield in seven weeks’ time. By then, when the Ulster Championship is swinging into action, the stakes will be considerably higher.

For now, though, two Division One points will do fine for Donegal, with Tyrone now hovering over the trapdoor.

Meanwhile, Monaghan moved into second place in Division One with a rare away win over Kerry in Tralee.

Kerry, with the wind at their backs, hit the first five points, but Monaghan grew into the game and an impressive second-half performance saw them outscore the Kingdom by 1-7 to 0-3.

Owen Duffy got the goal in the 47th minute, as Monaghan won in Kerry for the first time since 1987.

On Saturday, Dublin came good in the closing stages at Croke Park with four points in a row to relegate Derry.

Points from Dean Rock - who top scored with 0-3 - Paddy Andrews and Man of the Match Diarmuid Connolly separated the sides at the end of a heavily defensive affair.

In Division Two, Down stumbled on Saturday losing out to Meath in Newry.

The Mourne men now need a result from next weekend’s home tie against Laois if they are to return to Division One.

There was better news for both Armagh and Fermanagh who managed to secure promotion from Division Three.

On Saturday evening Armagh ground out a hard-fought 0-10 to 0-8 victory over neighbours Louth at the Athletic Grounds.

Late pointed frees from Aidan Forker and Ciaran O’Hanlon finally broke the Wee County’s resistance in a game where Ryan Burns stroked over six points for the stubborn visitors, who had Dessie Finnegan sent off in the 47th minute for a second yellow card offence.

Yesterday Fermanagh led by 1-5 to 0-3 at the interval, with Sean Quigley drilling a late penalty to the net after Paul McCusker was fouled.

Quigley (free) and Tomas Corrigan supplied the Ernemen’s first two points either side of a Ciaran Lyng brace and Quigley (free), Barry Mulrone (from distance) and Ryan Jones had Pete McGrath’s men three points clear approaching the half-hour mark.

The first four points of the second half were shared before Eoin Donnelly, Mulrone and Corrigan put Fermanagh in an unassailable position as they led by 1-10 to 0-5.

Armagh and Fermanagh will now meet in the Division Three final.

In Division Four, Antrim’s narrow one point success over Wicklow keeps their own promotion hopes alive.

Division One

Kerry 0-10 Monaghan 1-11; Donegal 1-13 Tyrone 0-06; Dublin 0-08 Derry 0-04

Division Two

Cavan 1-08 Westmeath 1-03; Down 0-10 Meath 2-11

Division Three

Wexford 0-07 Fermanagh 1-12; Armagh 0-10 Louth 0-08

Division Four

Antrim 1-10 Wicklow 0-12