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Early signs good for Smith with Cavan

GARETH SMITH continued his impressive start to life with Cavan last night, kicking 1-4 for the Breffni Blues as they slumped to a second successive McKenna Cup loss to St Mary's in Breffni Park, 1-12 to 1-8.

The St Oliver Plunkett's man kicked a fourth-minute penalty to help the hosts into a 1-5 to 0-6 half-time lead and he added to his tally with two frees and a further brace of points from play over the 70 minutes.

But six converted placed balls from Antrim native Kevin Niblock put the students a point ahead entering the final stages and a goal from substitute Lee McQuaiden ensured St Mary's 100 per cent record in the competition so far was extended. Smith will be in action tonight for St Declan's All-Stars against Pat Gilroy's Dubs at Russell Park (8.30).

Elsewhere, Donegal's 2009 Young Footballer of the Year Michael Murphy kicked 2-9 (0-6f, 0-2 '45') to help his team fight back from the concession of three first-half Martin Penrose goals and beat Ulster champions, Tyrone by 2-17 to 4-11 in Ballybofey.

Down held off a second-half surge from Antrim to win 0-19 to -11 in Newry, Fermanagh pipped UUJ (1-13 to 1-12) while Derry and Armagh had comfortable wins over Queen's and Monaghan respectively.