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McKenna Cup Round Up: Armagh's deadly double proves too much for Down

Down 0-13 Armagh 2-12

By John Campbell

A two-goal blast shortly after half-time proved crucial in taking Armagh to a deserved 2-12 to 0-13 victory over Down in the McKenna Cup at Newry last night.

The goals came from Andrew Murnin and Ronan Lappin as the home side played second fiddle.

Armagh's brisk early pace appeared to unsettle the Down defence and by the 10th minute Kieran McGeeney's men had swept into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead with Oisin MacIomhair, Niall Rowland and Aidan Forker on target before Kevin McKernan and the impressive Ronan Millar hit the target for the home side.

With Forker proving a big threat up front, Paul Hughes steaming forward at every opportunity and Murnin's pace causing problems, Armagh looked comfortable.

Armagh engaged a higher gear as half-time approached, moving the ball quickly out of defence with Forker and MacIomhair invariably hungry for possession.

It was after Millar had landed his third point for the home side that the Orchard county finished the first-half with a flourish.

Forker landed his fourth point from a free and when the Down defence were guilty of rash challenges immediately prior to the break, MacIomhair extracted retribution by potting two frees as Eamonn Burns' side picked up three yellow cards in the last six minutes of the half.

And they were plunged into greater difficulty when within two minutes of the resumption another Rowland point and an opportunist Murnin goal sent Armagh well clear at 1-10 to 0-5.

But just as Down sought to respond, Lappin pounced for Armagh's second goal and along with Rowland pirated late points that secured victory.

Derry 2-14 Ulster University 3-10

New Derry manager Damian McErlain enjoyed a dual bonus when he made his competitive debut on the touchline in last night's Dr McKenna Cup tie against UUJ.

Not only did McErlain see his team come out on top - just - but he also saw two of his own Oak Leaf players hit the net for the Jordanstown outfit.

The Derry boss, though, is unlikely to be impressed by his defence, which conceded 3-10, while his side posted 2-14 in recording their one-point win in a tense finish.

Derry led by 1-6 to 0-8 at the halfway stage after old hand Enda Lynn moved smartly to sweep in their goal, but they were fully extended after the break by a UUJ that revealed considerable composure and commitment.

Danny Tallon and Terence O'Brien, both of whom can expect to wear the Derry colours this year, were on target along with Ruairi McGlone.

Donegal 2-15 Queen's 0-6

And yet another Derry player was in scoring form last night, although he finished up on the losing side.

Emmett Bradley landed three points for Queen's against Donegal but Declan Bonner's side won by 2-15 to 0-6.

Cavan 0-15 St Mary's 0-12

Mattie McGleenan's Cavan, meanwhile, were forced to dig deep after the break before coming out on top against St Mary's by 0-15 to 0-12.

Fermanagh 2-11 Monaghan 0-12

Fermanagh gained an early bonus by beating Monaghan by 2-11 to 0-12 courtesy of two goals from Conal Jones and Aidan Breen.

Belfast Telegraph


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