Football League Roundup: Donegal start league campaign with win in Ennis

Football League Roundup: Donegal start league campaign with win in Ennis

Donegal's quest to return to the top tier got off to a winning start in Ennis, on a busy day in the Allianz Football League.

The visitors were 0-16 to 0-13 winners over Clare in Ennis, despite falling behind after a strong first-half display.

Captain Gary Brennan and David Tubridy impressed for the hosts, who made it tough for Donegal.

Donegal were without Michael Murphy and Frank McGlynn; and their Gaoth Dobhair contingent for this clash, but pushed ahead by three points on three occasions in the opening half - but led by 0-10 to 0-8 at the break.

The sides were twice level inside 11 minutes of the restart, before Donegal pushed into a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

Clare came close to level at 0-14 apiece, but Gavin Cooney fired wide; and Donegal finished the game with unanswered scores from Hugh McFadden and Jason McGee.

A 75th minute Conall Jones point helped Fermanagh earn a share of the spoils, with a 0-8 to 1-5 draw with Cork at Brewster Park, Enniskillen.

The Rebels were down to 14 men after the dismissal of Ruairi Deane three minutes into the second half, but it looked like they might win, after a 60th minute Matthew Taylor goal.

However, Fermanagh battled hard, with Conall's brother Ryan grabbing a late mark; and Conall converting to ensure the league points were split.

There was a late equaliser also at St. Conleth's Park, as a Jimmy Hyland pointed free with the games last kick, handed Kildare a 0-14 to 1-11 draw with Armagh.

It appeared Armagh had taken victory after a 73rd minute Rory Grugan score, but Kildare battled hard.

Little separated the sides throughout, with the game tied at 0-6 apiece at the interval.

Stefan Campbell netted the only goal in the 49th minute.

Meath finished strongly to claim a 0-15 to 1-8 home win over Tipperary in Navan.

The sides were tied with 13 minutes left on the clock, but the Royals outscored the Premier County 0-5 to 0-1 over the remainder of the tie to take the two league points.

Tipperary finished the game with 13 men, with Steven O'Brien claiming a second yellow card, and Josh Keane sin-binned in injury-time.

Mickey Newman top-scored with seven points, while Conor Sweeney bagged 1-3, including a penalty goal for the visitors.

In Division 3, newly promoted Carlow made a strong start with a 1-11 to 0-7 win over Sligo at Netwatch Cullen Park.

Carlow led throughout this contest, and held a 1-6 to 0-3 interval lead, with Paul Broderick the last home player to get a touch for the goal - after a scramble.

Ger Egan fired six points, as Westmeath made a strong second half comeback to claim a 0-13 to 0-12 win over Midlands rivals Offaly at TEG Cusack Park.

The hosts trailed by eight points at one stage, but scored 10 of the final 11 points to take victory.

Without their Mullinlaghta contingent, Longford managed to hold off a determined Louth side to record a 1-8 to 0-9 win in Drogheda.

The hosts gave a spirited display, despite being reduced to 13-men, after dismissals for Conor Early (Before half-time), and a second yellow card for Tommy Durnin in the third quarter.

Robbie Smyth netted the games only goal after 14 minutes.

In Division 4 a Padraig Cassidy point in injury-time, rescued an away win for Derry by 1-10 to 1-9 over Antrim in Belfast.

Football League Roundup: Donegal start league campaign with win in Ennis

The Oak Leafers were strong in the opening half, as Antrim were held to just one point - a Conor Murray score; with Derry holding a 0-6 to 0-1 interval lead.

A Shane McGuigan penalty further extended Derry's lead on the restart, but with Patrick McBride outstanding Antrim clawed their way back.

Cassidy's late fisted effort ensuring victory by the slenderest of margins.

Ryan O'Rourke fired 2-7 for Leitrim in their 3-15 to 0-11 win over Wexford in Carrick on Shannon.

All three goals for the hosts came in the second half, as Leitrim overcame a 0-7 to 0-6 interval deficit.

A late London comeback wasn't enough, as Limerick claimed an 0-11 to 0-10 win at McGovern Park in Ruislip.

A Liam Gavaghan score cut the gap to a point late on, but the visitors held out for victory.

The sides were tied at 0-5 apiece at half-time, before two points each from Peter Nash and Sean McSweeney saw them push ahead on the restart.

Killian Butler and Adrian Hanlon battled hard for London, but Limerick claimed vital scores from Nash and Seamus O'Carroll.

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