Tyrone, Donegal and Roscommon were the winners in yesterday’s opening round of hurling’s Nicky Rackard Cup.
Donegal travelled to Fermanagh and got a really tough game from the home side who drew level at 2-13 to 1-16 in the 59th minute when Barney McAuley fired a penalty to the net after Caolán Duffy was taken down.
Donegal however finished strongly to take victory with five points, two each from Davin Flynn and Daire Ó Maoileidigh and one from Jack O’Loughlin.
The first-half had seen the teams level on five occasions before Fermanagh took a 0-10 to 0-9 interval lead. Davin Flynn hit two points on the re-start and, after Ronan McDermott found the Fermanagh net, a gap opened.
Danny Teague pulled a point back in the 47th minute but almost immediately picked up a red card. Despite that, Brian Teehan scored a Fermanagh goal and then came McAuley’s penalty. But Donegal weathered the storm to pick up the victory.
The other two games saw comfortable victories.
Tyrone were in Birmingham to score a 7-18 to 2-11 victory over Warwickshire. They were 5-6 to 0-8 ahead at the break with two goals each from Ruairí Slane and former Antrim player Tiarnán Murphy. The fifth goal came from another former Antrim player CJ McGourty. Rory Weir and Damian Casey brought it up to seven in the final quarter.
Armagh struggled in the other Nicky Rackard tie and were 3-12 to 0-4 down at half-time. Sub Eoin McGuiness hit the net with his first touch after the break and Shea Harvey added another goal later in the half. But Roscommon were convincing 5-19 to 2-7 winners.
There was an Ulster derby in the Lory Meagher Cup in Inniskeen with Monaghan surviving a strong second-half comeback from Cavan to win 3-9 to 2-9.
Mark Treanor’s goal after 20 minutes helped the home side to a 1-6 to 0-2 interval lead and Thomas Hughes extended that gap to ten points with a goal five minutes into the second-half.
A strike from Canice Meagher halved that deficit before Hughes goaled again in the 61st minute and that score was enough to see them over the line despite a penalty strike from Fiachra Hughes near the end.