Roscommon and Louth secure victories

Roscommon and Louth recorded victories over Monaghan and Sligo in the Nicky Rackard Cup respectively yesterday, while today Leitrim ousted rivals Longford from the Lory Meagher Cup.

At Athleague, Roscommon always looked comfortable as they recorded a 2-19 to 1-11 win over 13-man Monaghan.

Despite the considerable winning margin, the home side got off to a sluggish start with Monaghan's Brian McGuigan netting a goal in the seccond minute.

However, Roscommon upped their game and thanks to a goal from Cillian Egan (1-4) they held a 1-9 to 1-6 interval lead.

The Connacht outfit took firm command on the restart with their second goal coming in the 68th minute from John Coyne (1-2) after industrious play by Egan and Shane McDermott.

Monaghan lost both Trevor Hilliard and Mark Treanor to red card offences in the closing 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, a strong second half display earned Louth a 3-15 to 1-9 victory over hosts Sligo at Markievicz Park.

Shane Fennell starred for Louth in a game in which Sligo were outscored by 2-9 to 0-2 during the closing 35 minutes.

The late arrival of referee Eamon Hasson enforced a 30-minute delay to the start of this contest, but when proceedings got underway it was the Yeats men who excelled in the opening half.

Sligo led by 1-7 to 1-6 at the break but nine first half wides came back to haunt them, while forward Damien Burke was dismissed for a second bookable offence in the 57th minute.

In the Lory Meagher Cup, Leitrim dominated in the second half to run out 2-18 to 3-11 winners over Longford at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park.

The crowd which came in early ahead of the Leinster SFC tie between the hosts and Laois were treated to an entertaining 70-plus minutes of hurling.

Leitrim took control in the third quarter and despite a late Longford comeback, their Shannonside rivals held out for victory.

A 16th minute goal from corner forward Luke Kelly gave Longford a 1-4 to 0-4 lead. Leitrim netted through Keith Boyle soon after, but a John Newman goal gave Longford a 2-5 to 1-8 interval lead.

Clement Cunniffe led the scoring charge for the visitors on the restart as they moved 2-15 to 2-7 in front entering the third quarter.

Leitrim's second goal came from a powerful Cunniffe penalty shot, leaving Longford goalkeeper and Cork native Ciaran O'Regan little chance between the posts.

In truth O'Regan and the Longford defence did well to thwart a series of Leitrim attacks, but the dismissal of corner back Stephen Connolly midway through the second half proved costly.

Captain Eoin Donnellan led the Longford comeback with some fine points, but a 69th minute goal from Sean Browne was too little, too late as Leitrim progressed to face Fermanagh in the semi-finals.

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