Mayo defeat Armagh in top of the table clash
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ARMAGH dropped their first points of the league suffering a 4-17 to 1-13 defeat from their Division One top of the table clash with Mayo in Swinford yesterday.
Like many sides before them, the Orchard County had no answer to Cora Staunton who finished with a personal tally of 2-10, the Carnacon star netting twice in the opening half to build up a 3-9 to 0-7 lead at the interval, the other goal coming from Sarah Rowe.
Armagh to the credit put in an improved performance on the resumption and got their reward with a Caroline O'Hanlon goal to start the second half scoring. However, with Staunton tagging on points and a further goal from substitute Aileen Gilroy they could never get back into the contest.
Monaghan took a major step to holding on to their top tier status while the defeat means Tyrone's hopes are looking slim. It was comfortable for the home side who built up a 1-9 to 0-3 lead at the break against a youthful Red Hand outfit, Therese Scott netting the all important goal after being played in by Ciara McAnespie.
Tyrone could only add a further point after the resumption while Monaghan saw out the win with a further six to secure their first points of the campaign on a day that Ellen McCarron and Cora Courtney scored five points each.
Elsewhere in the top flight reigning champions Cork suffered their third defeat in four games when they made the trip to Dublin and going home empty-handed with Gregory McGonigle's side recovering from a slow start to win 3-10 to 1-13. With Orla Finn in super form the Rebels got off to a blistering start racing 1-6 to 0-3 clear, Finn finishing the game with 1-6 to her name.
A goal from Lyndsey Davey brought Dublin back to within four at the break 1-7 to 1-3 and within seven minutes of the resumption the home side had hit the front helped by an Amy Ring goal.
Towards the end of that third quarter Carla Rowe also struck for another goal and from that point Dublin never looked back to pick up their third win. In the other game Kerry proved too hot for Galway with a 2-15 to 2-8 win.
In Division Two Donegal continued on their winning ways as they came out on top in a high scoring encounter 3-17 to 3-8 against Meath in Trim. Michael Naughton's side led at the break 1-12 to 3-3, Yvonne McMonagle netting the goal.
They got the ideal start to the second half with Eilish Ward raising the green flag within a minute and soon after Rosin Friel added their third major to put them in cruise control. Meath to their credit kept battling away but Donegal were always in control and all but secured a semi final spot.
Joining them at the top are Clare who also made it four wins from four and with it inflicting a first defeat on Cavan. Goals were the difference with the Banner hitting three in their 3-6 to 0-9 victory which was an extraordinary turnaround from their meeting last year when the Breffni County had 32 points to spare.
The opening goal came on 19 minutes through Niamh O'Dea to edge the home side into a lead they were never to let slip. A second goal from Grainne Nolan saw them lead 2-2 to 0-5 at the break while a third from Ailish Considine in the second half wrapped up the win.
It was a bad day for Down and Fermanagh in Division Three with both sides still looking their first points. Roscommon were visitors to Down and went home with all three points following a 1-15 to 1-7 win on Saturday. Fermanagh fell to defeat at the hands of Wexford 5-11 to 0-6.
In Division Four Antrim made the long trip south to face a rampant Limerick side and went down 2-15 to 0-7 but there was better news for Derry who picked up their league points with a 5-12 to 3-8 win over Carlow.
Division 1: Monaghan 1-15 Tyrone 0-4, Mayo 4-17 Armagh 1-13, Dublin 3-10 Cork 1-13, Kerry 2-15 Galway 2-8
Division 2: Clare 3-6 Cavan 0-9, Donegal 3-17 Meath 3-08, Kildare 1-12 Laois 0-13, Westmeath 3-13 Sligo 1-7
Division 3: Wexford 5-11 Fermanagh 0-6, Roscommon 1-15 Down 1-7, Tipperary 5-16 Offaly 0-6, Waterford 4-13 Leitrim 3-3
Division 4: Carlow 3-8 Derry 5-12, Limerick 2-15 Antrim 0-7, Longford 3-8 Wicklow 2-10