Allianz Football League Round-Up: Monaghan Shock Dubs In Clones

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Monaghan claimed a huge opening day scalp in the Allianz Football League with a three-point victory over a strong Dublin side at Clones.

Kerry produced a storming performance to down a fancied Tyrone side, whilst in Division Two, Kildare and Armagh played out an entertaining draw.

Westmeath pulled off a cracking come-from-behind victory in O’Connor Park in a game that will have no doubt left John Maughan’s Offaly side kicking themselves.

Meanwhile, in Division Four, Leitrim made a huge statement of intent as three second-half goals in eight minutes gave them a comfortable win over Wexford.

Here is a full round-up of Sunday’s Allianz Football League results.

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Allianz Football League Division 1

Monaghan 2-13 – 1-13 Dublin

Malachy O’Rourke’s charges made a huge statement on the opening day of the league season with a home victory over a strong Dublin side.

Dublin dominated the first half with Niall Scully bagging a goal after just seven minutes. Scully was involved in 1-3 of Dublin’s 1-7 throughout the half as they went in two points in front after 35 minutes.

It all changed however with the introduction of Monaghan’s talisman Conor McManus and up and coming star, Stephen O’Hanlon. The pair played a direct hand in 2-2 inside 10 second-half minutes that went on to secure Monaghan’s second league victory over Dublin in two seasons.

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Kerry 0-11 – 0-07 Tyrone

Peter Keane’s Kerry reign got off to the perfect start with a four-point victory over old rivals Tyrone in Killarney this afternoon.

Despite being a poor game for spectators that produced only two scores in the opening 25 minutes, the Kerrymen were the better side throughout. It took until the 27th minute for Tyrone to register a score which eventually came from goalkeeper, Niall Morgan.

Kerry led by four at the break, and Tyrone tried to chip away at the scoreboard int he second-half closing the gap to two points, but it was to be Kerry’s day in the Kingdom as the eventually came out with four points to spare.

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Galway 0-13 – 0-11 Cavan

The Tribesmen made five late changes to their starting side for the visit of Mickey Graham’s Cavan side today with All-Star corner forward Ian Burke in from the start at the top of the right.

Cavan led the home side by three points midway through the first half, but Galway were able to claw back the lead to leave the sides five points apiece at the break.

The two sides went tit-for-tat in the opening exchanges of the second half before Galway stretched their lead after 52 minutes, from then on it was a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Cavan battled hard, scoring three late points to leave two in it at the end.

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Allianz Football League Division 2

Kildare 0-14 – 1-11 Armagh

The showpiece game in Division Two today say Kieran McGeeney travel south with his Armagh side to take on his former charges in Cian O’Neill’s Kildare.

The game went as expected as two evenly matched teams went score for score throughout the first half to leave the game deadlocked at 0-06 – 0-06 at half time.

Armagh drove on the second half and stretched their lead to four points 13 minutes after the restart through Stefan Campbell’s goal. Campbell was highlighted on our ones to watch ahead of this weekend’s opening round. 

Kildare kept in touch and levelled the game through a Jimmy Hyland free on 70 minutes. It looked like Armagh were going to snatch a huge away win when Rory Grugan scored with two minutes to go, however, Hyland was able to grab a share of the spoils for Kildare in the last minute.

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Meath 0-15 – 1-08 Tipperary

The home side led throughout the first half, but Tipperary were handed a lifeline four minutes before half time through a penalty which was dispatched by Conor Sweeney, which cut their lead down to two at the break.

Sweeney performed well for the Munster outfit, scoring two quickfire points midway through the second half to level things up, but it was Meath who were able to keep the scoreboard ticking over in the last 15 minutes to secure a great two points at home.

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Clare 0-13 – 0-16 Donegal

Declan Bonner’s side travelled to Cusack Park, Ennis this afternoon to take on a Clare side who many believe can take another couple of scalps in this year’s league following their McGrath Cup win earlier this month.

Donegal may feel they are at a better standard than the second tier (which they are), but today’s game showed just how competitive Division Two will be this season. Donegal didn’t get it all their own way in the first half but still managed to go in two points in front.

Clare hung with them though and at one stage went in front in the second half, but Donegal’s class shone through, in the end, coming away with a three-point win to get their league off to a great start.

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Fermanagh 0-08 – 10-05 Cork

A poor enough game in Brewster Park between Pundit Arena’s two picks for relegation from Division Two this season.

After 20 minutes, Cork led the game by 0-02 – 0-01 and would go on to score twice more to see out the half three points to the good.

Fermanagh upped their game in the second half eventually levelling matters through Ciaran Corrigan. Fermanagh would take the lead before Matthew Taylor fired to the net to put Cork back in front with nine minutes to go, however, Conall Jones fired over to leave the sides level at the end.

Allianz Football League Division 3

Louth 0-09 – 1-08 Longford

A tense, close affair in the Gaelic Grounds this afternoon as Longford came away with a two-point win over Louth.

The home side started the brighter scoring the first two points of the game before Robbie Smyth netted a goal for Longford to open their account.

It was a low-scoring match, with Smyth’s goal separating the two sides at the break (0-03 – 1-03). It was nip and tuck, and the sides were level on 70 minutes before two late Longford scores sealed a vital away win.

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Offaly 0-12 – 0-13 Westmeath

There was late drama in O’Connor Park as Offaly had a chance to snatch a draw with a last minute 45, it wasn’t to be however as Westmeath came away with a one-point victory having fallen behind by eight points at one stage in the second half.

Offaly were much the better side in the first half and led at the break by four points after Westmeath took 25 minutes to register their first score.

The Westmeath comeback started on 46 minutes as they went on to kick eight points in a row to set-up a grandstand finish. The game was level going into injury time before Kevin Martin kicked the winner on 73 minutes.

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Carlow 1-11 – 0-07 Sligo

The Carlow Rising continues as Turlough O’Brien’s men got life in Division Three off to a terrific start with a seven-point win over Paul Taylor’s Sligo.

Carlow were the better team throughout and led from literally 1st minute until last. The game was over as a contest after 55 minutes when Sligo midfielder Darragh Cummins shown a red card as Carlow led by six points.

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Allianz Football League Division 4

Antrim 1-09 – 1-10 Derry

It looked as though Derry would stroll to a comfortable victory in their Allianz League opener today against Antrim as they led the Saffron County by five points at half-time.

Derry extended their lead to six in the second half through a Shane McGuigan penalty before Patrick McBride netted for Antrim to give them a lifeline. Antrim eventually levelled in injury time before late drama saw Derry’s Enda Lynn miss a penalty before Padraig Cassidy fisted the winner.

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London 0-10 – 0-11 Limerick

Another close encounter as the two sides traded points back and forth in Ruislip throughout the first half.

The teams were level at half time, but Limerick grabbed control in the second half to lead by four points at one stage. The Treaty men were able to keep the Exiles at bay to secure an opening day victory.

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Leitrim 3-15 0-11 Wexford

A big opening day win for Terry Hyland’s men who sent out a call to the rest of the teams in the Division that Leitrim are the side to beat this year.

The sides were level at seven points apiece after 40minutes when Leitrim’s Ryan O’Rourke netted a penalty to set them on their way. O’Rourke followed up with a second goal just a minute later to give them breathing space before Darragh Rooney bagged a third to kill the game off in eight second-half minutes.

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