Round-up: Weekend's Gaelic Football action
Offaly 0-13 Dublin 2-12
Longford 2-13 Louth 0-14
Wexford 6-10 Laois 0-13
Kildare 0-19 Westmeath 0-8
Goals either end of the second half from Tom Lahiff and Warren Egan clinched victory for Dublin in an otherwise evenly contested O’Byrne Cup tie at Tullamore, where a youthful Offaly side still gave manager John Maughan plenty to be pleased about.
With their defence holding up well and a wind at their backs, it seemed like the Faithful men were well poised when they fired four points in a row to make it 1-9 to 0-11 early in the second half. However Ciarán Kilkenny pulled the strings for Dessie Farrell’s men in the final quarter and he guided them home, scoring four points to match the tally of wing back Seán Bugler.
There were incredible scenes at Rathcline in Longford, where Louth went 0-14 to 0-6 in front after 42 minutes but were held scoreless for the remainder of the game.
The reigning O’Byrne Cup champions struck goals through Oran Kenny and Ross McNerney to put them on the front foot going into Wednesday’s clash with Offaly in Kilcormac.
Ben Brosnan, Eoghan Nolan and Tom Byrne struck two goals each for a rampant Wexford side at Hollymount, as they gave Billy Sheehan a debut to forget in his first game at the helm of Laois.
By half-time the game was dead in the water with Wexford 3-8 to 0-6 in front, and by the 45th minute five goals had been crashed to the Laois net. Ross Munnelly scoring his 550th point in the Laois colours was one of very few high points for the midlanders.
Glen Ryan had a much better debut as Kildare manager as the Lily Whites enjoyed an 0-19 to 0-8 win over Westmeath at St. Conleth’s Park, Paddy Woodgate scoring 0-6 for the home side in a memorable debut for the Raheens player.
Roscommon 3-23 Sligo 1-21
Galway 0-17 Mayo 0-13
The FBD League final will be yet another meeting of Galway and Roscommon, as it has been every year it was played since 2014, following wins for both counties in their respective contests at the NUI Galway Connacht GAA Airdome on Friday and Saturday night.
Galway were first into action and despite a strong performance from Mayo debutant corner backs Donnacha McHugh and Sam Callinan, They showed much greater penetration close to goal, with Paul Conroy and Damien Comer leading the way.
The introduction of Ryan O’Donoghue gave Mayo some impetus and he added four second half scores, but Galway still closed out their win.
It was far more free-flowing last night, when Roscommon gave 14 players their senior intercounty debut. Two of them – Diarmuid McGann and Ben O’Carroll – scored goals, as did Enda Smith, while Conor Cox (0-11, 0-3f) also had a productive night in front of the posts for Anthony Cunningham’s side.
Tipperary 1-12 Limerick 0-14
Cork 2-9 Clare 0-10
Two close contests in the McGrath Cup resulted in wins for Tipperary and Cork, though Limerick will take a lot of encouragement from a vastly improved display this afternoon in Rathkeale, having had a tough outing in their opening round game against Kerry.
Indeed they could have won today’s game, having led by 0-14 to 1-8 on the hour mark. However Seán O’Connor completed a very productive afternoon as a couple of late scores brough his tally to 1-7 for the day, before Jack Kennedy raised the last two white flags to snatch the win.
Cork did the hard work in the first half of their game at Miltown Malbay, where Daniel O’Connell’s goal gave them a 1-6 to 0-7 interval lead, despite playing into a fiercely strong wind. The second half was much tighter, with Brian Hurley adding the second goal as part of his 1-6 total for the day.
Monaghan 0-16 Fermanagh 0-11
Monaghan took the concept of 'a good spread of scorers' to a new level this afternoon in Clones, where ten players contributed to their final tally of 12 scores from play. Two frees from Rory Beggan made it 11 players in total that raised a flag in an outing that will also provide plenty of encouragement for new Fermanagh manager Kieran Donnelly, who was operating with a youthful team and without the services of the Derrygonnelly club men in advance of next weekend's AIB Ulster club final.
The key spell in the game was a 15 minute period either side of the water break when Monaghan scored six points in succession to move 0-9 to 0-3 clear. Kieran Hughes, Rory Beggan and James Mealiff all scored points in a purple patch just before the water break, before Mícheál Bannigan, Shane Woods and Jack McCarron kept that momentum going in the second quarter.
Fermanagh pulled the gap back to four at half time but were again outclassed in the early part of the second quarter, when Monaghan pulled well clear to effectively put the game out of reach of their neighbours, despite the strong finish that saw Ronan McCaffrey, Aidan Breen and Ryan Lyons tag on late scores for the Erne County.