Hurling & Camogie

Donegal make light work of Mayo as Armagh eke out victory

Monaghan were beaten elsewhere in the Nicky Rackard, while Cavan and Fermanagh played out a draw in the Lory Meagher Cup.

Ryan Bogue
Ryan Bogue was among the scorers as Fermanagh beat Leitrim last week (Sam Barnes / SPORTSFILE/SPORTSFILE)

Donegal enjoyed a fine 0-21 to 0-13 win over a fancied Mayo side in Letterkenny.

It was Mickey McCann’s younger charges who came through, especially in a most impressive second half after the sides had gone in level 0-8 each at half-time.

Donegal showed greater accuracy and fitness in the final quarter and outscored Mayo by 0-13 to 0-8 in the second half.

Donegal were rapidly out of the blocks with marksman Gerry Gilmore, Luke White and Ruairi Campbell all hitting the target.

24/7/2021  Tyrones   Conor Grogan     in action with Donegals   Conor O Grady     in Saturdays Nicky Rackard Hurling  Semi Final game at Carrickmore      Picture  Seamus  Loughran.
24/7/2021 Tyrones Conor Grogan in action with Donegals Conor O Grady in Saturdays Nicky Rackard Hurling Semi Final game at Carrickmore Picture Seamus Loughran.

But Mayo, who were operating in Division 2A of the League hit back with points of their own from Eoin Delaney, Oisin Greally and Luke Connor.

Gilmore was back to his best and landed a superb point from a most acute angle as Mayo keeper Bobby Douglas responded with a fine long-range free.

Liam McKinney was becoming increasingly influential and found the target, along with Gilmore, to put Donegal ahead by two points.

Undaunted, a physically powerful Mayo responded with a swift salvo of points from Liam Lavin, Cormac Phillips and Shane Boland to put them in front by 0-7 to 0-6.

This was a period of concern for McCann’s men but recent addition Oisin Grant and the inevitable Gilmore edged the home side back in front-before Liam Lavin levelled matters at the break.

Monaghan’s tricky fixture list saw them suffer a second defeat at the hands of Connacht opposition, as a strong Roscommon outfit prevailed by 4-17 to 1-16 at Inniskeen.

Having been beaten last weekend by Mayo, it was again an under-strength second-half that cost Arthur Hughes’ charges.

They led Mayo at the break last week, and were only one down at half-time this weekend, but Cian Murray hit a remarkable 3-2 from midfield, with all three goals coming in the second 35.

Monaghan must dust themselves down before they meet Donegal on Saturday, with perceived easier fixtures against Louth and Armagh to come.

Alex O’Boyle sunk Louth with a 71st-minute winner, as Armagh’s favourites’ tag came good in the end, if only just (0-18 to 0-17).

Having held a five-point advantage at the interval, The Orchard men looked set to bounce back from an opening defeat to Donegal.

Louth – themselves beaten by Roscommon – refused to wilt, however, with Darren Geoghegan amassing a stunning 0-14 of their 0-17 total.

Armagh hit a 21-minute scoreless spell as Geoghegan reined them in, but O’Boyle took it upon himself to undo the shackles and save Karl McKeegan’s side in the dying embers.

Armagh hurling manager Karl McKeegan
Armagh hurling manager Karl McKeegan (John Merry)

A fabulous second-half comeback gave Fermanagh a 5-12 to 3-18 draw with Cavan at sunny Brewster Park.

It looked grim for Joe Baldwin’s boys as they trailed by 11 points )3-15 to 2-7) 15 minutes into the second half.

But Fermanagh switched veteran Sean Duffy to the edge of the square and his response was two goals in the space of five minutes.

Sub Adam McShea added a fifth goal in the 67th minute to set up a frenetic finish.

The home side actually went a point up from classy veteran Sean Corrigan before Dillon Mulligan tied matters for the visitors in an enthralling finish.

The home side had enjoyed a dream start when Caolan Duffy  smashed the sliotar to the  net. Sean Keating replied for Cavan but Danann McKeogh got Fermanagh’s second to his side 2-3 to 1-4 ahead.

Cavan finished the half strongest and led by 1-12 to 2-5 at the break before steaming clear early in the second half with goals from Jack Barry and Mark Moffett, but the home side woke from their slumber to launch that fightback.