Allianz Football League Division 3 round-up
Allianz National Football League Division Three
TIPPERARY 1-16 OFFALY 0-16
CORK 5-19 LOUTH 0-16
DERRY 2-14 LONGFORD 0-12
DOWN w/o LEITRIM
Conor Sweeney's first half goal from a penalty proved to be the decisive score as Tipperary defeated Offaly at Semple Stadium.
In a crucial encounter for both teams, the Premier County claimed the full complement of spoils with Sweeney a central figure throughout.
Ultimately, Sweeney's 1-5 haul steered David Power's team to victory as Offaly trailed at the interval by 1-8 to 0-9.
Liam Casey and Michael Quinlivan were other prominent figures for Tipperary, who were able to fend off a spirited late Offaly rally.
Cork will play Division Two football again in 2021 after Paul Kerrigan inspired the Rebels to a 5-19 to 0-16 win over Louth to guarantee their promotion with one game to spare.
Louth finished with 12 players after Fergal Donoghue, Paddy Reilly and Emmet Carolan were all sent off, and a sixth straight loss means the Leinster side are relegated to the bottom tier, despite Sam Mulroy’s 11-point haul for his side.
Kerrigan laid on first-half goals at Pairc Ui Chaoimh for Colm O’Callaghan and Ian Maguire, before he scored his side’s third and fourth goals in a sixth straight win in the competition.
Cork face Longford in their final Division Three game of the season next weekend, while they then go on to face Munster champions Kerry in the provincial semi final a fortnight later.
Facing the prospect of relegation Louth needed a win in Cork and they raced into a 0-2 to 0-0 lead, but Cork soon gained control when O’Callaghan hit the net at the end of a well worked move.
Cork continued to dominate and added four points to their tally before Maguire struck their second goal with a palmed finish. The home side continued to swarm all over Louth and when Kerrigan fired their third goal they held a healthy 3-6 to 0-2 lead, although Louth finished the half well with Sam Mulroy helping them to six of the last eight points of the half to trail 3-9 to 0-8.
Kerrigan made sure there was no way back for Louth when he fired his second goal of the game four minutes after the break, while Mark Collins made sure Cork could celebrate with a fifth midway through the second half.
Earlier today Leitrim were unable to make the trip to Newry to face Down in their Division Three clash and conceded the points to the Ulster side. According to a Leitrim GAA statement, a number of Leitrim players were awaiting test results from Covid-19 tests and they took the decision to pull out of the game.
The concession means that Down pick up two vital points in their hopes to earn promotion and move on to nine points in the standings, but with one round of games remaining, Derry, Longford and Offaly are also still in with a chance of promotion.
Derry revived their hopes with a 2-14 to 0-12 over Longford at Celtic Park. Patrick Kearney’s goal just before half time put the Oak Leaf County in charge, while substitute Paul Cassidy fired a second goal in the final quarter, which gave Derry the precious two points on offer.
Down are now in pole position to step up to Division Two next season, but they need a draw next week against already relegated Louth to make sure. Tipperary play Offaly tomorrow, while next weekend Derry are away to Offaly, Longford host Cork, while Leitrim or Tipperary do battle in the final game.