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Clinical Clarke fires Armagh past Royals


Jamie Clarke. Picture: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

Jamie Clarke. Picture: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

Jamie Clarke. Picture: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

JAMIE Clarke's 0-11 haul powered Armagh to their first win in Allianz Football League Division 2 with a 0-19 to 2-10 victory over Meath in Navan on Saturday.

The Royals led by 2-4 to 0-5 in the 26th minute, with goals from Michael Newman and Brian McMahon.

However, with Clarke pointing four times, the gap was down to 2-5 to 0-10 by half-time.

And although Meath had the early momentum in the second half, Clarke's placed-ball accuracy was the difference as the visitors sealed victory. Donegal moved back to the top of the table after they defeated Monaghan 2-11 to 0-10 in a repeat of last year's Ulster final.

Goals from Odhrán Mac Niallais and Colm McFadden were the difference between the sides at the break in Letterkenny, with Donegal leading by 2-4 to 0-4.

That gap was maintained despite the best efforts of Monaghan's Conor McManus and Jack McCarron, and Mac Niallais wrapped up the win late on with his third point.

Down remain unbeaten following their 4-16 to 0-9 win over Louth at Páirc Esler.

Donal O'Hare helped himself to a 1-8 haul as Down coasted to the break with a 1-11 to 0-2 advantage.

Benny Coulter came off the bench to rifle home two goals, and Louth finished with 14 men following Brian White's second booking.

Conor Maginn netted a fourth, and O'Hare finished the game with 1-10 to his credit.

Laois cruised to a facile 1-20 to 0-8 victory at O'Moore Park against a Galway team that already look like being dragged into a relegation fight.

Tomás ó Flatharta's side eased away from the Tribesmen in a second half in which they out-scored their rivals by ten points. Galway had kept pace until a coolly taken goal from Kevin Meaney before half-time.

Laois scored four points on the back of Meaney's effort and took a 1-7 to 0-5 lead into the break. A Galway rally never materialised as they were blitzed by a mobile and speedy front line.

Points from Meaney and Billy Sheehan were answered by a Sean Armstrong free for Galway but Laois hit seven unanswered points to run out the easiest of winners.