GAA Round-up: Cork, Dublin, Monaghan and Donegal advance, Tyrone and Derry drop out, Gooch returns
Published 05/04/2015 | 18:25
Donegal squeezed Mayo out of a National league semi-final with a last gasp equaliser, while Monagahn will face Dublin after an eleven point humbling to the same opponents today.
The final round of fixtures saw Tyrone and Derry relegated to the second tier while Kerry star Colm Cooper returned to inter-county action following his injury lay-off during the Kingdom's draw in Omagh.
A point from substitute Stephen Griffin three minutes into injury-time propelled the 2012 All-Ireland champions Donegal into a semi-final against Cork at Mayo's expense in MacHale Park.
Mayo were primed to make the penultimate stages for much of the second half, but couldn't shake off a resilient Donegal and paid the price for so many wasted opportunities.
Patrick's Durcan's opportunity in the 71st minute was the most gilt-edged but his weak kick off his left foot into Michael Boyle's hands after an impressive counter-attack with the home side leading by a point gave Donegal a reprieve.
They will face the Rebels who fell to just their second defeat of the campaign in Owenbeg against the already relegated Derry.
The home recorded their only victory of the National league but it was too late as they propped up the table.
They were joined by Mickey Harte's Tyrone who put in a gallant effort to stay up in their 0-17 to 1-14 draw with the reigning All-Ireland champions.
They needed to beat Kerry to avoid the drop to Division 2 but just couldn’t get over the line in a hectic finish. Tyrone manager, Mickey Harte missed the game after undergoing a surgical procedure during the week, but he will be heartened by many aspects of a really spirited effort.
Colm Cooper received a warm welcome when he replaced Bryan Sheehan in the second half following the cruciate injury suffered last year.
Monaghan still made the Division 1 semi-finals thanks to results elsewhere but they'll have to improve drastically considering they face Dublin again in the final four next week.
The Dubs in their first visit to Clones led at one stage in the second half by 15 points and not even some late scores and a consolation goal for Darren Hughes could save Monaghan's blushes but two draws elsewhere saved their bacon and they still made the last four.
Down and Roscommon will play in the top flight next season and will battle it out for the Division Two title while Kildare and Westmeath both suffered their second successive relegation to drop into the third tier.
In Division Three Armagh and Fermanagh earned promotion with Louth and Wexford dropping down while in the bottom division, Leinster rivals Offaly and Longford topped the table.
S/F: Cork v Donegal
S/F: Dublin v Monaghan
Relegated: Tyrone, Derry
Final: Down v Roscommon
Relegated: Westmeath, Kildare
Final: Armagh v Fermanagh
Relegated: Louth, Wexford
Final: Longford v Offaly