Promoted Wexford eye glory

WEXFORD clinched promotion — and a place in the NFL Division Three final — after a facile 2-16 to 0-15 victory over Louth at Wexford Park yesterday.

A Padraig Matthews point inside 30 seconds put Louth ahead but that was the only time the visitors led. By the 20th minute the Model County enjoyed a 0-7 to 0-2 lead, through points from Ciaran Lyng (3) Adrian Flynn (2), Shane Roche and Matty Forde and after that it was plain sailing.

WEXFORD: A. Masterson; C. Morris, P. Wallace, B. Malone; A. Morrissey, D. Murphy, N. Murphy; B. Doyle, E. Bradley; S. Roche (1-2), R. Barry (0-3), A. Flynn (0-3); C. Lyng (0-3 fress), P.J. Banville (0-2), M. Forde (1-3, 0-1 free).

Subs: D. Walsh for Morris (h/t); P. Curtis for N. Murphy (h/t); T. Howlin for Bradley (44); R. Stafford for Doyle (56); C. Byrne for Roche (66).

LOUTH: S. O’Connor; A. Page, M. Fanning, D. Mackin; J. O’Brien, C. McGuinness, R. Finnegan; P. Keenan (0-1), P. Mallon; A. Reid (0-1), J. Murray (0-2), E. Carroll (0-1 free); P. Matthews (0-2), B. White, D. Clarke (0-3, 0-1 free).

Subs: S. Lennon (0-2) for White (half-time); C. Judge (0-3, 0-2 frees) for Carroll; B. McArdle for Page (41); B. Donnelly for Mallon (60).

A GOAL from Ryan Keenan ensured Fermanagh maintained their perfect record in Division Three — a 1-12 to 0-13 win over Down — and a meeting with Wexford in next weekend’s decider.

DOWN: B. McVeigh; L. Howard, C. McGovern, M. Cole; A. Carr (0-4), L. Doyle, K. McKernan; A. Rodgers (0-2), D. Gordon (0-1); S. Kearney, R. Sexton, R. Murtagh (0-2); J. Clarke (0-1), P. Turley (0-1), B. Coulter (0-1).

Subs: D. O’Hanlon for C. McGovern; D. Hughes for P. Turley; P. McCumiskey (0-1) for S. Kearney.

FERMANAGH: R. Gallagher; H. Brady, P. Sherry, D. O’Reilly; N. Bogue, S. Lyons, T. McElroy (0-1); M. McGrath, S. McDermott; C. McElroy (0-4), J. Sherry, J. McGurn (0-1); R. Keenan (1-3), L. McBarron (0-1), E. Maguire.

Subs: T. Brewster (0-2) for J. McGurn; D. McQuaid for L. McBarron.

CONNACHT champions Sligo will be playing in Division Four next year after conceding a late, late goal at Pearse Park yesterday to lose 1-14 to 0-14 to Longford.

Scorers: Longford: B Kavanagh (0-8, 5f), J Martin (1-0), P Dowd (0-2), F McGee (0-1), P Foy (0-1), P Berry (0-1), P Barden (0-1). Sligo: M Breheny (0-6, 3f), S Flannery (0-2), J Davey (0-2, 1f), S Gilmartin (0-1), K Byrne (0-1), G Gaughan (0-1), E Cawley (0-1).

RESILIENT Limerick retained their Division Three status for next season and consigned Leitrim to the drop after securing a dramatic one-point victory — 1-9 to 0-11 — at Kilmallock yesterday. A 63rd-minute point from corner-back Diarmuid Carroll proved the decisive score as the Shannonsiders emerged victorious in this keenly-contested relegation battle.

Scorers: Limerick: I Ryan (0-3, 0-2 frees), S Kelly (1-0), D Carroll, S Lavin, A Lane (free), J Galvin, C O’Cruali, G Collins (0-1) each. Leitrim: E Mulligan (0-8, 0-6 frees), C Duignan (0-2), S Foley (0-1).

LIMERICK: D McMahon; D Carroll, J McCarthy, S Gallagher; P Browne, S Lavin, A Lane; J Cooke, J Galvin; S Kelly, C O’Cruali, S Buckley; G Collins, K O’Callaghan, I Ryan.

Subs: J Ryan for J Cooke (ht), T Collins for C O’Cruali (45), M Crowley for K O’Callaghan (66), S Walsh for P Browne (69).

LEITRIM: N Gill; D Reynolds, J McKeon, M McGuinness; G Reynolds, B Prior, S Foley; G McCloskey, R Gallagher; M Foley, D Maxwell, D O’Connor; C Duignan, P McGuinness, E Mulligan.

Subs: D Brennan for P McGuinness (40), C Regan for R Gallagher (49), D Duignan for M Foley (58), F McBrien for C Regan (69).

Referee: M McGann (Clare).

NFL Div 4

TIPPERARY snatched promotion from Division Four in dramatic fashion as a two-point victory, 0-12 to 0-10 over Wicklow, coupled with Antrim’s surprise defeat at home to Waterford, secured the leap for the Premier County.

It was an emotional afternoon in Ardfinnan as a hungry Tipperary team, still reeling from the tragic death of Darrel Darcy, rallied superbly with 14 men to secure victory against Mick O’Dwyer’s visitors.

Scorers: Tipperary: B Coen 0-10 (7f), K Mulryan & B Grogan 0-1 each. Wicklow: T Hannon 0-5 (3f), L Glynn 0-2, T Walsh, T Gill & D Odlum 0-1 each.

WATERFORD shocked promotion chasing Antrim 1-8 to 0-8 and helped Munster neighbours Tipperary join Offaly in Division Three next season.

The visitors’ greater flair and determination won the day and they now prepare for a provincial championship clash with Clare next month.

ANTRIM: S McGreevy; J Loughrey, A McLean, P Doherty; T Scullion, S Kelly (0-2); J Crozier; J Quinn, M McCann; A Gallagher, K Niblock, T O’Neill; T McCann, M Magill, P Cunningham (0-4, 3f). Subs: E O’Neill (0-1) for Niblock (40), S Burke for Quinn (42), C Close (0-1) for T McCann (55), K O’Boyle for Doherty (55). BS: B Hasson for Kelly (55).

WATERFORD: T Hall; M O’Gorman (1-0), J Seaward, J Walsh; E Rockett (0-1), S Biggs, W Walsh; D Casey, M Ahearne; T Gray (0-1), A Hubbard, P Hurney (0-2); T O’Gorman, L Lawlor (0-1), C Power (0-3).

Subs: B Wall for Ahearne (55), M Ferncombe for Power (60), S Cunningham for Grey (72).

Referee: C McReynolds (Down).

CLARE racked up their fourth consecutive win — 2-13 to 1-12 in sunny Ruislip yesterday, but were made to work hard for victory by a battling London. With just eight minutes remaining and the Exiles looking the stronger side, a quick Clare counter-attack resulted in full-forward Stephen Hickey firing a low drive to the net to seal the points.

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