Monaghan sink hapless Cavan
THESE are difficult days for Cavan. No manager and no league points spell gloom for the Ulster champions.
Mattie KerriganÕs turnabout means that the search for a new boss must start all over again and on the evidence offered at Clones yesterday, the sooner the position is filled the better.
ThatÕs not to detract from what was a spirited Monaghan performance, though. Eamon McEneaneyÕs side showed a refreshing determination and although they found the Breffni side hard to shake off, they still finished strongly with a superb goal from Peter Duffy.
They had led by 0-5 to 1-1 at the interval, Jason Reilly having netted for Cavan and when the Breffni side hit back with points from Ronan Carolan and Peter Reilly, Monaghan looked to be in trouble.
But they kept their shape and a Declan Smyth penalty proved a god-send.
From then on their confidence mounted and now they can view the immediate future with considerable hope.
The Armagh scoring machine took over where it left off against Antrim when London were demolished at Ruislip yesterday.
By half-time Armagh were 2- 8 to 0-1 ahead and they cantered through the second half to reap another rich harvest of scores.
The quality of the opposition was almost non-existent and this will most certainly not be the case when Donegal invade the orchard county on Sunday week.
Diarmuid Marsden was ArmaghÕs top marksman with 2- 8 while their other goals came from Barry Duffy and Kieran McGeeney.
A procession of second-half points merely served to add to LondonÕs dreadful agony.
HOW unlucky can you get. Fermanagh played their hearts out against a strong, combative Louth outfit at Drogheda only to be pipped at the post.
This was a match that Fermanagh could and should have won.
They provided the man of the match in Raymond Gallagher who scored 3-3 and showed superb teamwork on occasions.
But they were caught when Stefan White and Colin OÕNeill knocked over late scores that proved decisive.
Fermanagh goalkeeper Cormac McAdam was sent off.
DONEGAL manager Declan Bonner knows it is still early days but two National League wins in as many outings are adequate cause for optimism.
They will also provide good reason for the fans to flock to Lurgan a couple of weeks hence when similarly unbeaten Armagh provide the opposition.
Yesterday DonegalÕs tenacity, teamwork and individual flair proved too much for a stop-start Derry side who never really settled into their familiar rhythmn.
Donegal led by 0-10 to 1-4 at half-time but they really stamped their authority on the match with two fine second half goals from Jim McGuinness.
With John Duffy and Tony Boyle equally dangerous, if not quite as fortunate as McGuinness in the scoring stakes, the Donegal attack underlined their ability to ask questions of even the best defences.
A Ronan Rocks goal just prior to the break had given Derry a lift but they were unable to shore up alarming defensive gaps that appeared after the break.
ANOTHER disappointment for Antrim manager Ray McDonnell.
Just when his team looked set to turn the corner, defender Andy McGowan was dismissed, and the handicap of playing with fourteen men for the rest of the game proved too much.
Yet the Saffrons led by 2-2 to 0-5 at half-time, Ronan Hamill and Ciaran OÕNeill hitting the net, the latter from his second penalty in the two league games to date.
And when Donard Shannon saved a penalty the home side responded with a lively bout of pressure.
But Longford played their trump card by bringing on the experienced Dessie Barry and the 36-year-old coach settled the visitors.
Pauric Davis was outstanding for the visitors, scoring 1-6 and repeatedly teasing the home defence. Enda Bardon and Aidan Keogh were too strong at midfield for Aidan Brown and James Murphy but although Antrim were forced to submit, there are still a few chinks of light at the end of the tunnel.
Longford scorers _ P Davis (1-6), D Barry (0-4), E Bardon (0-2), N Sheridan, A Keogh (0-1 each).
Antrim scorers _ R Hamill (1-1), K Madden (0-3), C OÕNeill (1-0), F Wilson (1- 0), C Brown (0-1).
ItÕs maximum points to date for Tyrone _ but thereÕs no room for complacency.
Sligo drilled home this fact at Omagh yesterday when they came close to upsetting the home applecart.
It was only in the closing minutes that Danny BallÕs boys stamped their imprimatur on a match that provided fulsome entertainment for the surprisingly big 5,000 crowd.
Tyrone led by 0-5 to 0-4 at half-time but there were a few defensive frailties in the second half that will provide manager Ball with food for thought.
Tyrone have Brian McGuckin and Damien Gormley to thank for their accuracy in whisking over a handful of late points while Paul Taylor and Brian Walsh kept SligoÕs challenge propped up by bisecting the posts at regular intervals.