Sport

GAA round-up: Big wins for Donegal and Roscommon

SportBy Sean McGoldrick
Frank McGlynn, Donegal, in action against Kevin McLoughlin, Mayo
Frank McGlynn, Donegal, in action against Kevin McLoughlin, Mayo

Mayo boss Stephen Rochford is still searching for his first win in the 2016 Allianz League as his side endured their third defeat on the spin this afternoon.

 In an ill-tempered contest in Ballybofey a goal from substitute Leo McLoone in the final quarter ensured that Rory Gallagher's Donegal keep their 100 percent record in the series.

 But again it was the footballers of Roscommon who stole the headlines, hitting a remarkable 4-25 in Pairc Ui Rinn to romp to an 18-point win over a hapless Cork, who are already in crisis even at this stage of the season.

 Cavan too deserve a special commendation after coming from seven points down in Navan to win by seven points and end Meath's promotion hopes for another year.

 In the Division 1 Match of the Day, Mayo -seeking their first points in the current League - led 3-1 early on but Michael Murphy's frees kept the home side in touch and the sides were level 0-4 each at the end of the first quarter.

 The visitors then suffered a big blow when the experienced Keith Higgins – who was starting his first game since last year's All-Ireland semi-final replay – limped off.

 But there was little continuity to the contest as it evolved into a free taking contest between Evan Regan and Rob Hennedy for Mayo and Murphy and Paddy McBrearty for Donegal. Mayo corner back Brendan Harrison hit the final score of the half to to give his side a one point lead lead break by a point (0-8; 0-7).

 Ryan McHugh equalised for Donegal straight after the resumption but Donegal upped the ante with two monster long range points from McBrearty and Odhran MacNiallais – the latter's effort came after a misdirected kick out from Rob Hennelly.

 But the game descended into near farce soon afterwards when Evan Regan cut in from the right flank and was upended by goalkeeper Tony Boyle inside the square.

 The inevitable row broke out with the Mayo would be penalty taker Diarmuid O'Connor being pushed over straight in front of the referee Barry Cassidy who was then badgered by a posse of Donegal players.

 After an indeterminate delay during which a couple of Donegal players were booked and O'Connor decided to take the penalty even though the referee was 40 metres away, the Young Player of the Year stroked the ball to the net at the official time of asking.

 Donegal substitute Neil Gallagher saw black soon afterwards as a combination of a weak referee and two sets of players who have never liked each other led to a near total breakdown of discipline.

 The home side hit back with a couple of points before a trademark Donegal move involving Christy Toye, Rory Kavanagh and substitute Leo McLoone culminated with the latter finding the net to give his side a two points advantage with just over ten minutes remaining and they comfortably held out for the win.

 Fresh from their historic win on Kerry soil in Round 2 Roscommon began in confident fashion leading 0-5 to 0-2 in the early stages before a Peter Kelleher goal tied up the game.

 But the recalled Senan Kilbride hit back with a goal to put the Connacht side back in control and it got better for Roscommon before half time when Cathal Cregg hit their second goal as they took control of the game and were nine points clear of the Rebels at the break (2-13; 1-7).

 New Cork football boss Peadar Healy is already under pressure as Roscommon, who were playing in Division 3 two seasons ago, went on the rampage after the break with Ciaran Murtagh hitting two more goals and even though Kelleher added a second Roscommon were totally in control.

 In fact the game turned into a scoring feast, producing seven goals and 42 scores in total but that's poor consolation to Cork who have lost two games on the big spin by significant margins.

 In the relegation battle in Newry between Down and Kerry the visitors led by 0-5 to 0-3 in the early minutes and by half time they had extended their advantage to six points (0-9; 0-3). 

There was no revival by the home side as Kerry went on to hit another 13 points in the second half with Down only managing three. Eamon Burns' side looked doomed for relegation already.

 Division 2 table toppers Tyrone found themselves with a fight on their hands against Laois as the home side led 0-6 to 0-4 early on before drawing level. By half time Mickey Harte's side were two points clear (0-8; 0-6) and they extended their advantage in the second period and eventually won by three.

 Right from the throw-in there was a surprise on the cards at Celtic Park ltic Park where Galway foraged into a significant early lead against joint table toppers Derry. They were five points clear coming up to half time. Derry hit two late scores but Kevin Walsh's side were still three points ahead at the break (0-10; 0-7).

 It got better for the home side in the second half when a goal from Adrian Varley put them on course for a crucial away win. Derry did grab two late goals through Emmet McGuckian and Ryan Bell but they were mere consolation scores for Damien Barton's side as they lost their one hundred percent record in the competition.

 In the Division 2 local derby in Navan Meath were in control at half time against their neighbours leading 1-9 to 0-5. But pointless Cavan found their mojo in spectacular style after the break. In a remarkable turnabout they came from seven points down to lead by four deep into the second half.

Perhaps it was a sign that Cavan =traditionally one of the most defensive teams in the country – has finally thrown off the shackles as they won by seven points in the end.

 The win gives them a sporting chance of climbing out of the relegation zone but the result was a disaster for Meath who have now lost two games in a row.

 Kildare maintained their drive for promotion from Division 3 with a comfortable win over Longford. Tipperary lost more ground dropping a point against Westmeath in Mullingar while Clare and Offaly are back in the hunt after win over Limerick and Sligo respectively.

 Wexford got their promotion campaign back on track at Wexford Park when they hammered visitors London but Wicklow surrendered their one hundred percent record against fellow table toppers Louth while Antrim stayed on target for promotion by beating Leitrim in Corrigan Park.

Waterford fashioned their first win of the season when they beat Carlow in a high scoring contest in Cullen Park.

RESULTS 

 Allianz FL Division 1

Roscommon 4-25; Cork 3-10
Donegal 1-14; Mayo 1-12
Down 0-6; Kerry 0-22

 Allianz FL Division 2

Galway 1-18; Derry 2-12

Tyrone 1-14; Laois 0-14
Cavan 1-20; Meath 1-13

 Allianz FL Division 3

Kildare 2-11; Longford 0-10
Offaly 1-16 Sligo 0-14
Westmeath 0-11; Tipperary 1-8
Clare 1-14; Limerick 0-11

 Allianz FL Division 4

Wexford 4-20; London 1-6
Antrim 2-14;Leitrim 0-9
Waterford 3-15; Carlow 0-15
Louth 0-15; Wicklow 1-2