GAA Football

NFL Matchbox: David Clifford the goal hero for Kerry as they edge past Meath

David Clifford's goal made the difference for Kerry in their narrow win over Meath Picture by Séamus Loughran

National Football League

Division One

Kerry 1-19 Meath 2-13

DAVID Clifford’s goal proved the difference between the sides at Killarney yesterday as Meath pushed Kerry all the way.

The Munster champions, whose goalkeeper Brian Kelly pulled off a couple of important late saves, started and finished the first-half purposefully to compile a 1-10 to 1-5 interval lead.

The gap was out to six with 15 minutes left thanks to further points from substitute Dara Moynihan and Seán O’Shea, but Meath refused to give up, Bryan McMahon’s goal and a Thomas O’Reilly point quickly halving the deficit.

Clifford mined the insurance point in the second minute of injury-time and O’Reilly’s sixth point was too little, too late for the Royals.

Division Two

Clare 1-11 Laois 1-12

CLARE are staring relegation in the face after another narrow loss left them bottom of Division Two.

Cormac Murphy put the ball into an empty net in the 20th minute as Laois led by three at the break, but Clare weren’t done and David Tubridy’s goal from a 65th-minute penalty had them back within the minimum.

Goalkeeper Niall Corbett’s 45 offered the visitors the space they needed to hang on for the win, with 37-year-old Ross Munnelly kicking four points for the winners.

Kildare 0-13 Roscommon 2-11

GOALS from Cathal Cregg and Enda Smith helped Roscommon to an entertaining four-point victory over Kildare at Newbridge.

The Rossies took an early lead through Niall Daly, Cian McKeon, Cathal Cregg and Donie Smith, but then went almost half-an-hour without a score, with Adam Tyrrell, Daniel Flynn and Paddy Brophy prominent as Kildare fought back.

A Smith free closed the first-half scoring and Roscommon reclaimed the lead when Cregg palmed to the net in the 49th minute. With a point between them, Smith’s 65th-minute penalty conversion settled it after McKeon was taken down.

Division Three

Tipperary 0-21 Cork 3-13

TWO second-half goals from Luke Connolly helped Cork to a narrow victory over Tipperary at Thurles on Saturday night.

David Power’s charges led by 0-12 to 1-6 at the break, Ruairí Deane netting for the visitors, and further scores from Jack Kennedy and Liam Boland nudged the Premier county five clear within four minutes of the restart.

Connolly’s first goal came from a penalty and his second on 48 minutes pushed the Leesiders ahead for the first time as they just about claimed their fourth successive victory.

Leitrim 0-14 Offaly 2-16

OFFALY are building a bit of momentum as they recorded an eight-point victory away to Leitrim at Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada in Carrick-on-Shannon yesterday afternoon.

It was a second successive win for John Maughan’s side and it was made all the more impressive by them fighting back from a 0-9 to 0-8 half-time deficit.

Bernard Allen put the Faithful county in front eight minutes into the second-half and goals from Ruairí McNamee and Cathal Mangan put the gloss on another impressive win.

Division Four

Sligo 0-16 Waterford 2-12

DARRAGH Corcoran pointed twice in injury-time to give Waterford their first victory of the season at Markievicz Park.

Sligo led by three at half-time and extended their advantage after the restart before Seán O'Donovan's 49th minute goal reduced the deficit to the minimum, 1-7 to 0-11.

Sligo had John F Carr sent-off on a second yellow card before Dylan Guiry grabbed the visitors' second goal to propel them into the lead. Gaughan levelled with his fourth free, but Corcoran had the final say.

Wexford 4-15 London 1-9

WEXFORD maintained their promotion push with a commanding 15-point win over London.

The Exiles were never in the game at Wexford Park as they were 2-9 in arrears before they managed to register a point.

Jonathan Bealin set the tone with a point inside the first minute and goals from Eoghan Nolan and Mark Rossiter pushed Wexford into a 2-6 to 0-0 after 15 minutes.

London goalkeeper Noel Maher had to come up field to score their first point from a 45. Trailing 2-11 to 0-2 at half-time, there was no way back.

Limerick 5-10 Wicklow 1-14

LIMERICK made it four wins from four with a comfortable dismissal of Wicklow in Rathkeale.

Billy Lee’s men laid the platform for their victory when they took a 3-8 to 0-7 advantage into half-time. Michael Donovan scored the first goal and, with further strikes from Danny Neville and Robert Childs, Limerick were coasting.

Iain Corbett added a fourth goal and Davy Lyons provided the fifth, with Gearóid Murphy on target for the Wicklow consolation.

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