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McKenna Cup round-up: Donegal edge past Armagh

Updated: Sunday, 12 Jan 2014 20:45 | Comments

Donegal had a narrow win over Armagh
Donegal had a narrow win over Armagh

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There were six games down for decision in the Power NI Dr McKenna Cup in Ulster this afternoon, with Tyrone, Donegal, Monaghan, Derry, Antrim and Cavan claiming wins.

Tyrone maintained their positive start to 2014, as they recorded their second win of the competition, thanks to a 3-19 to 1-08 win over Queen's University Belfast in Section A in Healy Park.

17 points separated the sides at the full-time whistle, but this game was tight early on, with the sides level on eight occasions.

However, Mickey Harte's charges pulled clear on the restart.

Antrim's Ryan Murray impressed for Queen's in the opening half, but an eighth-minute goal from debutant Danny McNulty threatened to derail their hopes.

Ryan Rafferty netted for Queen's soon after, with the sides tied at 1-06 apiece at the break.

However, second-half goals from PJ Lavery and Paddy McNeice paved the way for victory, in a game where Queen’s were held scoreless in the closing 30 minutes.

In the same group, 2012 All-Ireland champions Donegal claimed their first win of the season, after a 1-10 to 0-11 win over Armagh at the Athletic Grounds.

Donegal staged a strong second-half turnaround as Armagh powered to a 0-07 to 0-03 half-time lead

Armagh opened up a five-point gap entering the final quarter, with Eugene McVerry, Stefan Campbell and Robbie Tasker on target.

Donegal dug deep, with Colm McFadden producing the only goal of the contest entering the closing ten minutes, a score which proved crucial for Jimmy McGuinness's side.

McFadden's initial shot was saved, as was the follow-up, but on his third effort he finished the ball to the net to cut the gap to a point.

A brace of Michael Murphy points, coupled with scores from Odhran MacNiallais paved the way for the visitors to win.

There were two home victories in Section B as Monaghan and Derry both recorded wins.

Monaghan were 1-16 to 0-08 winners over St Mary's University College, Belfast before 771 spectators in St Tiernach's Park, Clones.

The hosts led by 0-09 to 0-03 at half-time, with Thomas Kerr and Jack McCarron among their scorers.

McCarron, Shane Smyth, Kieran Duffy and Paul Finlay helped Monaghan take a 0-13 to 0-04 lead inside 14 minutes of the restart.

McCarron delivered the only goal of the game soon after, and despite the students best efforts Monaghan held out for a deserved victory.

Derry maintained their unbeaten run, with a 1-11 to 2-04 win over Fermanagh at Owenbeg.

Goals arrived early in this game with Aaron Kerrigan finding the back of the net for the hosts after just three minutes.

Wind-assisted Fermanagh led by 1-01 to 1-00 after eight minutes, following a Seamus Quigley goal, with his brother Sean, adding another Erne County three-pointer in the 24th minute.

Fermanagh led by 2-03 to 1-04 at half-time, but only scored a point on the restart as Derry upped their game.

James Kielt and Ciaran McGoldrick were among the Oak Leaf's scorers in the second half, as they took a four-point win.

Antrim claimed their first victory of 2014, after a 1-17 to 2-08 win over UUJ at Creggan.

Michael Pollock came off the bench in the second half, and scored five points for the Saffrons.

Antrim led by 0-10 to 1-03 at half-time, and although the students had the aid of a strong wind on the restart, Liam Bradley's charges worked hard for victory, with CJ McGourty netting their goal from a penalty.

Cavan were 1-09 to 0-05 winners over Down in Kingscourt.

The hosts led this game from the off, and with points from Eugene Keating and David Givney they led by 0-03 to 0-02 at half-time.

Kevin Tierney got Cavan's second half off to a perfect start, with a goal inside a minute of the restart, and they never looked back, despite the best efforts of the visitors.

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