John Ivory is here to round up the first week of action from the Allianz Football League.
Tyrone 0-9 – Monaghan 1-13
Monaghan looked impressive as they outscored Tyrone by 1-8 to two points in the second half of this encounter in Omagh and got their league campaign off to the best possible start. Tyrone raced into a 0-7 to 0-2 lead thanks in part to three Darren McCurry frees, but that was as good as it got for Tyrone as Monaghan took total control. Trailing by two at the break, Monaghan went one ahead just minutes into the second half. A thirty minute floodlight failure didn’t stop Monaghan’s momentum and when Stephen Gollogly netted the game was effectively over.
Donegal 1-15 – Derry 0-12
An Odhrán MacNiallais goal proved vital for Donegal as Rory Gallagher began his league career as manager with a win. Derry led 0-9 to 0-6 at the break after an evenly contested opening half. Donegal started the second period better and the scores were level when they were awarded a penalty. Michael Murphy saw his effort hit the crossbar and come back out. However, the Tír Chonaill men wouldn’t have to wait long to raise a green flag, as MacNiallais finished to the net to put three between the teams. Donegal finished strongly and recorded a six point win.
Kerry 0-10 – Mayo 2-11
Mayo started their league campaign with a comfortable win over Kerry in Killarney. Goals in either half from Alan Freeman and Kevin McLoughlin sealed the victory and extended Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s unhappy record of never having won a league game in February as Kerry manager. An early injury to Evan Regan saw Michael Conroy enter the fray and he added a vital 0-4 to Mayo’s cause. While Tommy Walsh made his comeback in a Kerry jersey after five years in Australia, it was Barry John Keane and David Moran were the standout performers for Kerry, but this was easy in the end for Mayo.
Cork 1-15 – Dublin 0-16
Jamie O’Sullivan’s 12th minute goal would eventually prove to be the telling score in this one. It put the Rebels 1-2 to 0-3 ahead and Cork would maintain this margin of a lead until the break, 1-7 to 0-9. Dublin hit the front in the second half with Dean Rock (0-8, 4f) in inspired form for this time of year. Cork finished far stronger led by Conor Dorman, Colm O’Neill and Brian Hurley and outscored the Dubs by 0-4 to 0-1 to claim the spoils.
Down 3-13 Kildare 1-15
Down snatched victory thanks to two last minutes goals from Arthur McConville and Donal O’Hare to devastate Kildare in St.Conleth’s Park. Kildare started well with Fionn Dowling and Eoghan O’Flaherty leading the way. Niall Kelly goaled for Kildare on 21 minutes,but it was cancelled out by a fine solo effort from Caolán Mooney after the restart. Down were never too far behind thanks to the efforts of O’Hare and Paul Devlin, but even though Kildare’s Padraig Fogarty had his 50th minute penalty saved, the Lilywhites opened up a three point lead. It was from then that the drama unfolded with the Mourne men scoring 2-1 late on.
Roscommon 1-11 Cavan 0-14
A Martin Reilly ‘45 saw Cavan claim a deserved draw after a captivating game in Kiltoom. Cavan’s ability to win clean possession was cancelled out by some tenacious, disciplined defending by Roscommon. The Rossies’ inside men were on form and brothers Diarmuid and Ciarán Murtagh accounted for 0-9 of their scores. Cathal Cregg’s 12th minute goal was countered by three Cavan scores without reply, but Roscommon led by two at the interval. An exceptional second half performance from Gearóid McKiernan, in which he scored four points in-a-row from play, brought Cavan to within one. Martin Reilly and Roscommon’s Donie Shine swapped points before Reilly stepped up to tie the scores.
Westmeath 1-12 – Laois 0-10
Westmeath finished strongly earning a five point win over midlands rival Laois, who would eventually finish the game with just 13 men. James Dolan struck for goal in first half injury time and then a Ray Connellan free before the break left Westmeath four to the good, 1-6 to 0-5. Laois had the assistance of the wind in the second half and drew level with just over 10 minutes to go. However, Laois’ day went from bad to worse as they lost Padraig McMahon to a second yellow and then Brendan Quigley to a straight red. Westmeath finished with five unanswered points to seal the win.
By John Ivory
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