Magical Monaghan stun Meath

Magical Monaghan stun Meath

Monaghan secured the result of the day in Allianz Football League Division 2 by hammering Meath by 0-20 to 0-8.

The Royals were crushed in Clones and the game was effectively over by half-time as magical Monaghan took a 0-13 to 0-1 lead into the second period.

The Farney men, who are now second in the table behind leaders Donegal, had five first half points from Conor McManus and Jack McCarron chipped in with three.

McCarron might had added a goal but Meath stopper Paddy O'Rourke managed to keep out his penalty effort.

O'Rourke's opposite number Rory Beggan pointed three times from '45s, while Chris McGuinness and Thomas Kerr had a brace each.

McManus and McCarron added two more points to their tallies and Meath, who had impressed when beating Galway in their opener, salvaged some pride with seven points after the break.

Laois opened their win account in the second tier by beating Louth 2-8 to 0-11 in a competitive tie in Drogheda.

Goals from Ross Munnelly and Conor Meredith steered the O'Moore men to a 2-4 to 0-5 half-time lead, although the latter was sent-off before the break.

The goals arrived within six minutes of each other, Donie Kingston combining with Munnelly whose low shot beat advancing Louth goalkeeper Shane McCoy.

Then, with 22 minutes on the clock, Munnelly put David Conway into space and his ball to the far post was fisted home by Meredith for a seven-point advantage.

Declan Byrne and Andy McDonnell closed the gap for the hosts and Laois goal scorer Meredith saw red in the 33rd minute after striking Derek Crilly off the ball.

Tempers flared again when Laois' Kevin Meaney was seen to lash out at Derek Maguire and scuffle with him on the ground. The home crowd felt a second red card was coming, but referee Cormac Reilly instead reached for just a yellow.

The pressure was on Tomas O Flaharta's men as Louth battled back in the second half with quick points from Colm Judge, Eoin O'Connor and Maguire, reducing the arrears to two.

Kingston and Judge (0-2) traded scores to put just the minimum between the sides and there was further drama when Louth full-back Padraig Rath blocked a Gary Walsh shot away as it headed towards the net.

14-man Laois produced the stronger finish though, as Walsh, who converted the resulting '45', and Kingston steered them home.

A crowd of 5,557 braved the wet conditions to watch Down beat Ulster rivals Armagh by 2-07 to 2-05 in a Friday night thriller.

Captain Mark Poland rescued the win for his side with an injury-time goal as Down claimed their first league victory over Armagh at the Athletic Grounds since 1985.

The Orchard men, who led 1-3 to 0-3 at the interval, had goals in each half from Kevin Dyas and Tony Kernan.

In what was the first ever Allianz Football League game to be played on a Friday night, Poland led the scoring for the Mourne outfit with 2-0 and Donal O'Hare (0-2f) and Kevin McKernan scored two points apiece.

Armagh scrapped to get back in front after Poland's fisted goal in the 37th minute and Conor Maginn's subsequent point had moved Down ahead.

A trip on Ciaran McKeever led to Down's Ryan Mallon being black carded in the 49th minute, but Armagh had corner forward Robbie Tusker sent-off eight minutes later for an off-the-ball incident.

The hosts still led entering injury-time with Stefan Campbell on target but a fisted point from Eoin McCartan and Poland's second goal denied Armagh right at the death.

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