Farney lay down title marker

ULSTER champions Monaghan cruised to victory against defeated 2010 All-Ireland finalists Tyrone as the Bord Gáis Energy Ladies National Football League began yesterday.

Monaghan laid down a marker for the season with a devastating attacking display as off-colour Tyrone slumped to a 0-7 to 2-14 defeat at Emyvale.

At half-time, Monaghan led by 2-7 to 0-5 as Caoimhe Mohan and top scorer Catriona McConnell struck first-half goals.

The hosts raced into an early four-point lead before Gemma Begley hit Tyrone’s first point in the 10th minute.

But goals for Mohan, after 20 minutes, and McConnell three minutes later put Monaghan on the road to victory, despite the Farney women losing key defender Isobel Kierans to a sin-binning.

Incredibly, Tyrone’s seventh point 12 minutes after half-time was their last score of the game as Monaghan piled on the agony with a run of seven unanswered points.

Goalkeeper Edel Corrigan preserved a clean sheet with a couple of fine saves in the second half while Tyrone’s misery was complete late on when inspirational defender Sinead McLaughlin was sin-binned.

In Division 2, All-Ireland champions Dublin had an emphatic 2-17 to 1-4 victory against Armagh.

The Sky Blues were relegated from Division 1 last year and are desperately keen to return to the top flight.

Dublin, who led by 0-8 to 0-3 at half-time, pulled away in the second half as Orla Egan bagged both goals for the hosts at Fingallians.

But it was Armagh who struck for the opening goal early in the second half as Kelly Mallon pounced from close range after former All Star keeper Cliodhna O’Connor had prevented a long-range free from going over the bar.

But Dublin, with six current All Stars in their starting line-up, hit back with a brace from Egan, who netted twice in the last quarter to seal a comfortable win.

Sinead Ahern, player of the match in last year’s All-Ireland final, hit four points while Amy McGuinness, Lyndsey Davey, Noelle Healy and Elaine Kelly also impressed.

Kerry made an impressive startin Division Two against Tipperary as they recorded a 2-17 to 1-7 victory.

In Division 3, Clare signalled their determination to bounce back from last year’s relegation with an opening day 2-9 to 0-7 victory against Down.

Eimear Considine was the provider for Niamh O’Dea’s two goals as the Banner County secured victory at Miltown-Malbay.

Clare led by 1-5 to 0-6 at half-time but it wasn’t until late in the day that the hosts pulled away against a Down team inspired by Kyla Trainor, who scored all of the Mourne County’s first half points.

In Division 4, last year’s beaten divisional semi-finalists Antrim will be a force to be reckoned with after crushing provincial rivals Derry 5-15 to 0-9 on the opening day.

Remarkably, Derry led by 0-9 to 0-4 after 20 minutes but failed to register a score for the remainder of the game.

Antrim led by 2-6 to 0-9 at half-time and ran riot in the second half as Mairead Cooper (2), Claire Timoney, Anna Finnegan and Rachel Fulton scored the goals for the Saffrons.

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