Monday 14 October 2019

Rafferty strike ends Erne unbeaten run

Armagh 1-9 Fermanagh 0-6

Armagh's Ethan Rafferty. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Armagh's Ethan Rafferty. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Armagh won a dour struggle in Crossmaglen to stave off any threat of relegation from Division 2 and also dented Fermanagh's promotion hopes, handing them their first defeat of the campaign.

Sub Ethan Rafferty's well-taken goal in the 62nd minute was vital in a game when scores were difficult to come by and Fermanagh were unable to respond.

The visitors were also down to 14 players at the end when Che Cullen picked up a late yellow card, having been sin-binned earlier, but the result was already secure for Kieran McGeeney's side.

Armagh led 0-5 to 0-4 at half-time with Jarly Óg Burns and Aidan Forker scoring early points from play while Rory Grugan, Niall Grimley and Rian O'Neill pointed frees.

All of Fermanagh's six points came from play, four in the opening half from Ryan Jones, Declan McCusker, Ryan Lyons and Aidan Breen.

Their average scoring return of 10 points in the previous five league games had been enough to protect their unbeaten status - but they came up well short yesterday with Armagh stretching clear in the third quarter.

The home side were already leading 0-8 to 0-4, Jamie Clarke on target from a mark, before Rafferty cut along the sideline and squeezed a low left-footed shot underneath goalkeeper Thomas Treacy's body.

Fermanagh substitute Tom Clarke fisted Sean Quigley's pass towards goal but Blaine Hughes batted it away as Armagh held out.

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With Donegal also winning yesterday, Fermanagh may well now need something from their last game away to Meath next Sunday to complete back-to-back promotions.

Scorers - Armagh: E Rafferty 1-0; N Grimley 0-2 (2f); R Grugan (f), A Forker, C Vernon, J Óg Burns, M Shields, J Clarke (m), R O'Neill (f) 0-1 each. Fermanagh: D McCusker 0-2; R Lyons, R Jones, A Breen, C Jones 0-1 each.

Armagh: B Hughes; R Kennedy, A McKay, P Hughes; B Donaghy, G McCabe, A Forker; C Vernon, N Grimley; J Hall, R Grugan, J Óg Burns; P Casey, R O'Neill, J Clarke. Subs: S Campbell for Casey (26), Mark Shields for McCabe (h-t), E Rafferty for O'Neill (61), J McElroy for Forker (62), C Higgins for Hall (70).

Fermanagh: T Treacy; L Cullen, Che Cullen, K Connor; U Kelm, J McMahon, C Corrigan; E Donnelly, R Jones; K McDonnell, D McCusker, A Breen; R Lyons, C Jones, S Quigley. Subs: D Teague for McDonnell (h-t), J Cassidy for Donnelly (52), T Clarke for Lyons (52), P McCusker for Breen (61).

Referee: S Hurson (Tyrone).

Kildare 1-11 Tipperary 2-7

Injury-time points from Adam Tyrell and Neil Flynn saved the day for Kildare after they let a seven-point lead slip through their fingers in the last ten minutes.

The home team seemed to be cruising towards a win when they led 1-9 to 0-5 but a 61st-minute goal by Liam Boland sparked a comeback for a Tipperary side who were desperate for a win.

Tipp followed that with a second goal in the last minute of normal time after Kildare squandered possession from their own free-kick inside their 45. Dan O'Meara applied the finishing touch.

Brian Fox then levelled for Liam Kearns team - who had been second best throughout - in the first minute of injury-time. Kildare, though, reasserted control over the game with two sweetly struck points from Tyrell and then a Flynn '45'. Tipp pulled a point back through Boland in the last attack of the game but it was too little too late.

Fergal Conway's 34th-minute goal had helped Kildare into a 1-7 to 0-2 half-time lead and Chris Healy's point soon extended their lead out to nine points but they took their foot off the pedal and nearly paid the price.

This win though, and results elsewhere, mean they retain an outside chance of promotion to Division 1; they travel to Donegal next week still with something to play for.

Scorers - Kildare: N Flynn 0-5 (2fs, 1 '45'), F Conway 1-0, K Feely 0-2, J Hyland, T Moolick, C Healy, A Tyrrell 0-1 each. Tipperary: L Boland 1-1, D O'Meara 1-0, C Sweeney 0-3 (2f, 1m), L McGrath (f), L Casey, B Fox 0-1 each.

Kildare: M Donnellan; D Hyland, M O'Grady, M Hyland; C O'Donoghue, E Doyle, P Kelly; K Feely, T Moolick; F Conway, P Brophy, K Cribbin; J Hyland, C Healy, N Flynn. Subs: A Tyrrell for Cribbin (47), K Flynn for Healy (56), F Dowling for Brophy (56), J Murray for O'Donoghue (63), A Masterson for Conway (68).

Tipperary: E Comerford; A Campbell, J Meagher, E Moloney; C O'Shaughnessy, D Brennan, J Feehan; S O'Brien, L Casey; M Quinlilvan, L McGrath, B Fox; P Austin, C Sweeney, J Kennedy. Subs: P Maher for Austin (50), L Boland for Casey (58), P Feehan for J Feehan (60), D O'Meara for Moloney (64).

Referee: N Mooney (Cavan)

Donegal 1-19 Cork 1-12

A 12-point second-half turnaround from Donegal at Páirc Uí Rinn yesterday kept alive their Division 2 promotion hopes and left Cork on the brink of relegation to the third flight.

Trailing by 1-8 to 0-6 at half-time, the visitors were far sharper on the resumption, aided by the wind, with Michael Murphy excellent as they clawed their way back, taking the lead at 0-15 to 1-11 through Hugh McFadden on 59 minutes.

Though Luke Connolly levelled for Cork, it proved to be their last score of the game and two Niall O'Donnell points gave Donegal a cushion before the hosts, with all of their subs used, lost Ian Maguire and Connolly to injury and Mark Collins to a second yellow card.

After a Daire Ó Baoill point put Donegal three ahead, they made the game safe with a Jamie Brennan goal and Ryan McHugh ensured there were seven points between the teams at the end.

Donegal had the better of the play in the early stages of the first half but Cork stayed with them and moved 0-6 to 0-3 ahead thanks to points from Ruairí Deane, Connolly and Eoghan McSweeney.

While that lead was soon cancelled out Cork finished the half well, Matthew Taylor with a goal following Shaun Patton's save from Deane.

Unfortunately for Cork, they couldn't maintain that momentum and victory for Clare over Meath today would relegate them to Division 3 next season.

Scorers - Donegal: M Murphy 0-6 (4fs, 1 45); J Brennan 1-2; N O'Donnell 0-3; R McHugh, D Ó Baoill 0-2 each; H McFadden, C Thompson, O Gallen, C Ward 0-1 each. Cork: L Connolly 0-4 (3f), E McSweeney 0-3, M Taylor 1-0, M Collins, M Hurley 0-2 each, R Deane 0-1.

Donegal: S Patton; E Doherty, S McMenamin, C Ward; P Brennan, L McLoone, E Bán Gallagher; H McFadden, C McGonagle; N O'Donnell, C Thompson, R McHugh; J Brennan, M Murphy, O Gallen. Subs: D Ó Baoill for P Brennan (23), P McGrath for Ward (h-t), E McHugh for Gallen, N McGee for Doherty (both 70)

Cork: M Martin; S Ryan, T Clancy, C Dennehy; K Crowley, K Flahive, M Taylor; I Maguire, K O'Hanlon; P Kerrigan, E McSweeney, R Deane; M Collins, M Hurley, L Connolly. Subs: M White for Martin (42, injured), R O'Toole for Kerrigan (57), K O'Driscoll for Taylor (57), S Powter for Deane (61-64, blood), C Kiely for Dennehy (63), Powter for Crowley (67).

Referee: D Gough (Meath).

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