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In brief: Braniff on the mark in Down stroll

Down produced a brilliant first-half display to outplay Meath and set up a comfortable victory in McKenna Park, Ballycran, yesterday.

It was all Down early on and with nine minutes gone, Paul Braniff finished off a good move with their goal. Meath's corner-forward Peter Durnin received a second yellow card three minutes before half-time and Down finished the half strongly to lead by 1-12 to 0-1 at the break.

Meath's 14 men battled on, with Michael Cole striking for their goal after just 10 seconds, but Down had too much.

Scorers -- Down: P Braniff 1-1, G Johnson, B Ennis 0-5 each, J Coyle 0-4, S Clarke, E Clarke, C O'Prey 0-1 each. Meath: M Cole 1-0, N Kirby 0-4, D Kirby, N Horan, J Keena 0-1 each.

Referee: E Hasson (Derry)

Kildare 4-18

Derry 1-13

A rampant Kildare full-forward line put an injury and suspension-hit Derry to the sword at Banagher.

By the 14-minute mark the Lilywhites' inside trio of Tony Murphy, David Harney and Martin Fitzgerald had all found the Derry net, with Kildare leading 3-1 to 1-5, the Derry goal having come from Cathal McKeever. The Leinster side led by 3-8 to 1-9 at the interval.

Kildare put the game to bed inside the first minute of the second half as Fitzgerald struck for his fourth goal.

Scorers -- Kildare: M Fitzgerald 2-4, T Murphy 1-2, D Harney 1-1, L Quinn 0-4, C Kenny 0-3, D Kennedy 0-2, M Moloney, T Byrne 0-1 each Derry: M Kirkpatrick 0-6 (4f), C McKeever 1-1, O McCloskey 0-4 (2f), O Doherty 0-2

Referee: G Duffy (Antrim)

Cork 4-15

Laois 3-9

VALERIE Mulcahy bagged 1-8 as Cork claimed a fourth successive title in front of a bumper Parnell Park attendance yesterday evening.

Mulcahy was in scintillating form as the Rebelettes pulled away from a spirited Laois outfit in the final quarter to secure a nine-point victory in front of over 3,000 spectators.

With 49 minutes gone, Cork led by just a point, 3-10 to 3-9, but the Leesiders hit an unanswered 1-5 to close the game out -- Mulcahy with the killer goal.

Scorers -- Cork: V Mulcahy 1-8 (1-5f), O Farmer 2-0, R Ni Bhuachalla 1-0, C O'Sullivan 0-3, N Cleary 0-2, G Kearney, D O'Reilly 0-1 each. Laois: T Lawlor 1-5 (4f), Martha Kirwan 1-1, A Moore 1-0, Mary Kirwan 0-2 (2f), S Doogue 0-1.

Referee: E O'Hare (Down).

Dublin 3-15

Meath 2-9

Sinead Aherne scored nine points as Dublin claimed a comfortable nine-point victory.

Aherne, player of the match in last year's senior All-Ireland final, was a pre-match injury doubt but started this Parnell Park clash in place of Siobhan Woods.

Amy Ring, Olivia Leonard and Lyndsey Davey scored Dublin's goals in this dress rehearsal for the forthcoming Leinster semi-final against Meath.

Scorers -- Dublin: S Aherne 0-9 (6f), E Kelly 0-4, L Davey, O Leonard, A Ring 1-0 each, N Healy, L Peat 0-1 each. Meath: G Doherty 1-4, V McCormack 1-2 (1-0 pen), K O'Brien, F Mahon (f), E Duffy (f), 0-1 each.

Referee: MJ O'Keeffe (Cork)

Clare 3-10

Fermanagh 1-12

THREE second-half goals sent Clare on their way to victory at Parnell Park yesterday.

Marie Considine netted six minutes after the restart, Eimear Considine struck in the 42nd minute and Niamh O'Dea added the third seven minutes from time to set Clare up for victory.

Scorers -- Clare: N O'Dea 1-5 (2f), E Considine 1-1, M Considine 1-0, L Henchy 0-2 (1f), N Carroll, A Considine 0-1 each. Fermanagh: S Little 1-4 (1f), C Little 0-5 (5f), M Connolly 0-2, A Moane 0-1

Referee: D McEnery (Westmeath)

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