The Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge continued this weekend with three riveting games in Group H.
Derry, Down and Tyrone all picked up crucial wins setting up an enticing selection of fixtures in Round 3.
Read our full round-up of the weekend’s games below.
Derry Continue Fine Form In Celtic Challenge With Win Over Fermanagh
Derry 3-11 Fermanagh 1-6
Derry secured their second win in the Celtic Challenge with a strong win over Fermanagh at the weekend.
There were seven minutes on the clock in Irvinestown before the first score was registered. Fermanagh took the lead with three points from placed balls before Slaughtneil’s Ryan McPeake registered Derry first score after 15 minutes.
Centre-back Callum O’Kane soon scored the point of the half when he won the Erne men’s puck out and broke through to score from 50 metres. O’Kane and Keelan Doherty added further scores to leave the half-time score at Derry 0-4 Fermanagh 0-3.
Derry ran the bench at half time and it wasn’t too long before 2019 captain Darragh McGilligan made his mark. He won the ball in midfield and broke through to register the Oakleafers first score of the half from 45 metres.
The home side were not going away though and replied in fashion with great scores from Darragh McPhilips and Oisin Madden before Dara O’Kane extended Derry’s lead. Fermanagh answered with a free, before Eoghan O’Kane cancelled it with a great score from 45 metres.
Keelan O’Kane and Madden both struck for goals for Derry, before Fermanagh lifted the green flag after a long-range shot came back off the upright and was sent to the back of the net. Derry’s captain for the day, Aaron Campbell returned to the field again and with his first touch split the posts. Madden grabbed his second goal on the hour mark to finish the game.
Aaron Campbell of Derry was awarded the Best and Fairest player award, along with Fermanagh’s Ethan McPhilips, from match referee Aidan McAleer.
Derry now face a crucial game against Down next weekend in Portaferry while Fermanagh welcome Tyrone to Irvinestown.
Report by Kevin Kelly.
Derry: Daniel Glass; Oisin O’Kane, James Brunton, Thomas McKeagney; Mark McEldowney, Callum O’Kane (0-2), Se Gallagher; Ciaran Crossan, Adam Rankin; Aidan Cutliffe, Shane Convery, Aaron Campbell (0-1); Ronan McWilliams, Ryan McPeake (0-2), Keelan Doherty;
Replacements (all HT): Cathan McElhinney; Aidan Mullan, Karl McGilligan, Danny McGarry; Odhran Murray, Michael Moore, Ciaran McErlean; Darragh McGilligan (0-2), Thomas O’Neill; Keelan O’Kane (1-0), Eoghan Quinn (0-2), Dara O’Kane (0-2); Lorcan McAlinden, Oisin Madden (2-1), Jack McCrory.
Fermanagh: Liam Moore, Ultan O Reilly, Mark Johnston, Odhran Johnston, Ethan McPhilips, Ruari Moore, Michael Flanagan, Mark Hughes, Donn Corrigan, Darragh McPhilips, Cormac Daly, Ryan Gilleece, Oisin McPhilips, Darragh Gormley, Oran McMenamin.
Down Produce Second-Half Comeback To Overcome Armagh In Celtic Challenge
Armagh 1-16 Down 4-11
A crucial second-half goal, as well as a save from Cahal Lavery helped Down to a win over Armagh in an epic encounter in the second round of the BOI Celtic Challenge.
Down got the start they wanted after three minutes when a high ball was floated into the square and Francis Caldwell’s overhead pull saw the sliotar fly past Caolan McCann in the Armagh goal. Unfortunately for them, it was to be their last score for over twenty minutes as Armagh began to get to grips with the game.
Armagh responded with a Lee Murtagh goal and some fine scores off the sticks of Oisín O’Hare, Conor Rafferty and Aidan Harney while captain Shea Harvey causing the Down rearguard some serious problems.
When Imran Hussain scored Down’s second point of the half with 24 minutes on the clock, Armagh had built up a healthy lead of six points. The next five minutes saw the sides trade scores with Rafferty, Murtagh & O’Hare responding to points from Down’s Oisín Coulter and Eamon Blaney before they were reduced to 14-men just before the break.
Down made a host of changes at half-time but it was Armagh who were quickest out of the blocks and a fine score from Rafferty was answered with a tight-angled point from outside the twenty-metre line by Jon Fisher. Armagh were soon awarded a penalty which Murtagh stepped up to take but his excellent strike produced an inspirational save from Lavery. Motivated by the save, Down went on the attack and Caldwell netted his second goal before adding another point.
With less than 10 minutes remaining, a quick-thinking goal from Ciarán Savage saw Down finally level the game. Duggan and Murtagh traded scores before Caldwell effectively put the game out of reach with his final goal of the day followed by a point straight from the puck out. Craobh Rua’s Oisín O’Hare got his sides last two scores, but it wasn’t enough as Caldwell pointed his last of the day.
After the game, Kevin Parke awarded Francis Caldwell of Down & Shea Harvey of Armagh with their Best & Fairest medals.
Report by Diarmuid Ó Donnghaile.
Down: Cahal Lavery, Eoin Pucci, Darragh Kelly, Jack Lee, Ciaran Savage, James Duggan (0-3), Lukas Boyd, Niall Husarz, Imran Hussain (0-1), Jon Fisher (0-1), Mathew Malone, Eoin Magee, Eamon Blaney (0-1), Francis Caldwell (3-3), Oisín Coulter (0-2)
Replacements: Aodhán Furlong, Finn Collins, Tom McGrattan, Ciaran Savage (1-0), Ethan Bell, Owen McDermott, Ryan O’Neill.
Armagh: Caolan McCann, Fiachra Moore, Adam Murtagh, Aaron O’Neill, Fiantan Oliver, Caolan McReynolds, Kane Laverty, Adam O’Neill, Aidan Harney (0-1), Adam Markey (0-1), Oisín O’Hare (0-4), Conor Rafferty (0-3), Shea Harvey, Lee Murtagh (1-7), Ronan Davidson.
Tyrone Bounce Back With Win Over Spirited Saffrons In Celtic Challenge
Tyrone 4-18 Antrim 1-7
Tyrone picked up their first win in the BOI Celtic Challenge in Garvaghey on Sunday overcoming a promising Antrim side. To their credit, the Saffrons battled hard and never threw in the towel as the Red Hands turned in another good display.
Coming into the tie off the back of a narrow loss to Derry, there was a workmanlike approach from Tyrone over the course of the game.
The visitors showed their skill throughout the first half, a goal from Calum Kilgore pulling them to within two points of Tyrone with 25 minutes of the game played after a brisk 1-5 from the home side had them very much in control.
By the break though, Tyrone led 2-5 to 1-3, Adam Toner with the goals for the Red Hands who were creative and sharp all over the park. Antrim plugged away with Marcus Toner and Ciaran Mc Shane tagging on their points.
Tyrone built on that lead after the break with a couple of points on the board before Jason McAteer steered home a third goal on 36 minutes. The Saffrons backs were to the wall for much of the second period although Andrew McLean and McShane points kept the scoreboard ticking over for them.
Cain Ferguson, Mark McCann and Toner points helped maintain Tyrone’s lead, they also hit several wides before Toner completed his hat trick in the 49th minute. Michael Walsh and McShane points wrapped up the scoring for Antrim as Tyrone secured a vital win in a hugely competitive group.
Once again Ferguson was the top scorer for Tyrone as he finished with 0-10 although there were quality performances all over the park among them Fionn Devlin who picked up the Best and Fairest player award for the home side. Ben Mc Cauley took the honours for Antrim.
Report by Paddy Hunter
Tyrone: Cahir Munroe, Sean Doran, Anthony Crossan, Oisin Mc Callan, Jack Donnelly, Michael Little, Matthew Duffy, Conor Fitzgerald, Cian Ferguson 0-10, Mark Mc Cann 0-3, Conall Molloy 0-1, Jason Mc Ateer 1-1, Bryan O’Neill, Fionn Devlin 0-2, Adam Toner 3-1
Antrim: Bailey Graham, Shane Mc Kenna, Daire Maguire, Aaron Carey, Ben Mc Cauley, Aidan Scullion, Owen Kennedy, Eoin Boylan, Conor Boyle, Callum Kilgore 1-0, Marcus Toner 0-2, Andrew Mc Lean 0-1, Finn Mc Ilroy, Conor Mc Nicholl, Ciaran Mc Shane 0-3,
Replacements: Michael Walsh 0-1 for Mc Nicholl